Programmed by Daniel Deshays
États généraux du film documentaire 2019 - Sélection "Route du doc - Vietnam"
Hanoi, Vietnam. Pomelo neighborhood must be razed to the ground to build a new ring road. Several groups of migrant workers coming from rural provinces are struggling to make a living from the demolition. Living in violent and precarious conditions, they never wallow in self-pity but rather turn their lives into an absurd, dark and bitter comedy.
It opens to sound – and sound pollution from the incessant traffic in Hanoi. From time to time, the solitary, traditional melody soars above the image of this world being turned upside down. People apologise, and beg the genies of the earth to leave this place before being crushed… One by one, the houses fall under the steel jaws. Every scrap of metal is salvaged, and, on every level, from the Mafia to the very poorest, corruption spares no-one on the construction site. Via giant loudspeakers, the People’s Committee broadcasts its expropriation resolutions to music. The road must be built and life goes on amidst the rubble. They delay their departure until the very last moment, taking advantage of the place, living there, sleeping there, teaching there too, even if it means ending up on the pavement.