Programmed by Olivia Cooper Hadjian
Compétition Internationale Burning Lights - Visions du réel 2020
A young woman constructs a solitary reality by imagining what life would be like after the passing of her parents. Absorbed in the slow process of working alone in the family’s greenhouse, she relives shadow memories of her Cambodian mother and father. The healing ritual of physical labour gradually reveals itself over time. As the plastic roof bears the weight of natural elements, the increasingly precarious weather threatens this new life alone.
The Plastic House swings in a pendulum motion between the dim, enclosed space of a bedroom where a young woman’s trying to sleep and the luminous greenhouse where she grows vegetables – on one side, a place to empty her mind, and on the other, a place where life unfolds. The water motif connecting the two spaces reveals its ambiguity… this nourishing liquid that enables plants to grow is damaging when it pours down in a storm or seeps into the house. Based on this paradox, the film is shot through with a peculiar atmosphere, weaving together sensations in a musical way. Its tranquillity is soothing yet morbid… Between the drips, in blurred and out-of-frame images, the absence of loved ones echoes loudly.
Olivia Cooper Hadjian
Member of the Cinéma du Réel Selection Committee, critic for Les Cahiers du Cinéma