Eliane is a wealthy French plantation owner living in Indochina in the 1930's with her father and adopted native daughter Camille. She has a brief affair with a young officer, John Baptiste, but to her dismay discovers Camille has fallen madly in love with him. Eliane is able to arrange to have him transferred and Camille gets married to another man. However, Camille never stops loving Jean- Baptiste and sets out acroos the country to find him.
Winner of the Academy Award for best foreign-language film in 1992, Indochine
is a vast, panoramic love story set in the twilight years of French Indo-China. Comparisons with David Lean are inevitable, considering director Régis Wargnier's use of the setting as a backdrop to the love-triangle between the three main characters. Catherine Deneuve gives a strong, emotionally restrained performance as Eliane, the plantation owner whose colonial paradise is slowly falling apart. Vincent Perez is magnetic yet thoughtful as the young officer Jean-Baptiste, complemented by Jean Yanne's dry cynicism as the Chief of Police knowingly fighting a losing battle for French culture. Linh Dan Pham is affecting as Camille, Eliane's adopted daughter whose journey from aristocratic ancestry to Marxist induction personifies the changing face of South-East Asia in the period around World War Two. Patrick Doyle's score reinforces the expressive sweep of the direction and "orientalisms!" are kept to a minimum.
On the DVD The 16:9 wide-screen format reproduces best in the domestic scenes, and there are 30 individual chapter points, detailed in the interactive moving menu. The disc also has detailed filmographies for the main cast and director, including an entertaining "gossip" file for Deneuve. English subtitles are optional. A half-hour location report would have been worthwhile, but overall this is a persuasive presentation of one of the few genuine historical-romantic epics of the 1990s. --Richard Whitehouse
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.