The Future Cries Beneath Our Soil
The Future Cries Beneath Our Soil is a portrait of a place and its people, Tan Hiep village of Quang Tri Province in Vietnam. The historical boundary between North and South Vietnam, it was a crucial battlefield during the Vietnam-American War. Under its soil, tons of leftover bombs continue to be excavated week after week.
Thanh and Hoang spend their days waiting the hours in Thanh’s house, a house with no doors, in an intimate time when they seem to have resigned their fates to sickness and old age.
Dinh and Loc seem to be heading to the same direction. Dinh is a construction laborer for small buildings around the hardly developed village. Loc, without a job of his own, tails his wife around and assists her in making local wine. Phuong, in the morning, goes to the fields and detects parts of bombs using a makeshift metal detector. In the afternoon, he maintains the irrigation for the ricefields of the whole village. At night, he catches frogs. Like a parallel dimension, a team of bomb disposal experts come and go, in off-road cars bearing the flags of Vietnam and America, through the same roads, fields and forests where these men course through their lives.
Soon, winter is coming and all five get together routinely in Thanh’s house drinking wine stolen from Loc’s wife. Their songs and stories are not of the present days, but of Dinh’s and Loc’s past loves, the war in Thanh, Hoang and Phuong’s youth, and a palpable foresight of death. The film sits with them distilling this nostalgia emanating from the house with no doors, slipping into our senses a rare glimpse of the thin line between triumph and defeat in war.
But sooner than the winter, death indeed arrives. One that’s unexpected.