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Laos: in the land of the golden triangle

Laos: in the land of the golden triangle | France 5 | Les Routes de l'Impossible

Landlocked and mysterious, Laos has long been a country turned in upon itself. Deliberate isolation decided by the Communist regime that has been in power since 1975. It is a land of sumptuous natural features, from wild mountain to impenetrable forest, that is still home to dozens of forgotten ethnic groups. Whether at the wheel of a giant Russian truck, aboard a speeding cruiser on the Mekong, on an elephant’s back or on foot through the jungle, this film travels this amazing country from south to north following the most difficult of lines of communication. It also focuses on the Ho Chi Minh trail, the network of routes used by the Vietnamese communists to ferry arms. At that time, American planes showered millions of tons of bombs on Laos, making it the most highly-bombed country in the world. The camera follows the journeys of endearing and unusual people: Southa and Khem, the storekeeper couple who will do anything to supply isolated villages; Bountieng, the mahout who, with his elephant, confronts the densest jungles every day to seek precious timber and Tong, the devoted teacher, whose mission is to instruct forgotten tribes.