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Summary

Set in the lowlands of southern Vietnam, this powerful coming of age tale is a richly textured and stunningly visual reflection of the rhythms of daily life and culture determined by water. The flooded landscape serves to tell the story of the relationship between a father and son, the cycles of life and the inescapable flow of all things. When young Kim, out of necessity, joins the nomadic life of the buffalo herders he is exposed to a complex, brutal way of existence. He must find his own way and a sense-of-self in this male world of endurance, betrayal and uncertainty (which can also offer friendship and independence). Minh Nguyen-Vo presents this mythic tale with indelible images of the majestic and sacred buffalo charging through flood waters contrasted with the solitary rower gliding through the waters, each representing opposite phases of the spiritual and moving journey.

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