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Dust of Life

A Feature film by Rachid Bouchareb

Produced by 3B Productions

Release in France : 18/01/1995

  • Contents

Actors (4)

Production and distribution (5)

Executive Producer :

3B Productions

Foreign production companies :

Salon films, Paradise Films, TV München - TMG

French distribution :


Co-productions :

Arte France Cinéma, Hamster Productions

Film exports/foreign sales :

Pyramide International

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Son , the child of a black American officer, and his Vietnamese mother are trying to leave Vietnam. But without American documents, they are forced to stay. On coming home from school one day, Son is picked up by the Bô-doï (Vietnamese soldiers) who arrest the children roaming the streets of Saigon. Orphans, shoeshine boys or delinquents, they are the "dust-specks of life" of a decomposing world. Packed into 2 trucks, eighty children are ferried to the "rehabilitation camps". There, they are forced to work on clearance and have to submit to the order and ethics of the revoluion. All escape attempts end in the "tiger cage" before the departure for "Fanta Hill", whose terrible secret Son will come to understand. With Bob and little Haï, he decides to risk an escape attempt and build a raft to sail down the river to the Mekong and from there to Saigon, the sea and perhaps even... the USA.


"Vietnam and the USA have tried to forget these children, these "dust-specks of life" as they were called in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon. These children, with their half-breed faces, are too vivid a reminder of the war. Having found another Franco-Vietnamese director concerned by the same issues, we decided to work together on the adaptation of Duyên Anh's novel "La Colline de Fanta". Shooting this film for me was a continuation of the subject matter that I tackled in "Cheb", my previous film : the blending of races and cultures."
(Rachid Bouchareb)

Full credits (10)

Executive Producer :

Jean Bréhat

Screenwriters :

Bernard Gesbert, Rachid Bouchareb

Sound Recordist :

Didier Saïn

Editor :

Hélène Ducret

Music Composer :

Safy Boutella

Author of original work :

Duyên Anh

Directors of Photography :

Youcef Sahraoui, François Paumard

Press Attachés (film) :

Thierry Lenouvel, Isabelle Buron

Production Designer :


Costume designer :

Simonetta Mariano

Technical details

Feature film

Genres :


Production language :

French, Vietnamese

Coproducer countries :

Hong Kong, Algeria, Germany, Belgium, France

Original French-language productions :


Nationality :

Majority French (Hong Kong, Algeria, Germany, Belgium, France)

Production year :


French release :


Runtime :

1 h 27 min

Current status :


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Posters (1)


Festival Selections

Academy Awards - 1996

Academy Awards (United States, 1996)


Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film