Banana Pancakes and the Children of Sticky Rice

94 minutes 2015

New
This Dutch-produced documentary looks at a village in northern Laos as residents transform their rustic community into a destination for Western tourists. Early on, director Daan Veldhuizen attends a village meeting at which one resident endorses the documentary filming, saying that people who see the movie might be inspired to visit; not surprisingly, this sometimes feels like a tourism ad. Veldhuizen presents Europeans interacting cheerily with Laotians and reflecting on how much they enjoy the simple life of the village. This happy tone is offset with scenes of villagers expressing reservations about the growing industry; one man admits that he doesn't like competing with his neighbors for tourism money, and another ponders whether the modernization efforts will corrupt the traditional culture. In English and subtitled Dutch, French, German, and Lao.

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