The Plastic House
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…a reflection on the ordinariness of life, the simplicity of planting, tending, persistence and decay until the cycle begins again.
South Australian filmmaker Allison Chhorn’s Cambodian heritage is a major influence in her work; her documentary After Years explored the ‘silences and memory’ of Cambodian migrant families around the world. Her latest work The Plastic House, a 46-minute piece of experimental docu-fiction follows a similar trajectory, slowly unfolding a meditation examining family and identity.
A lone figure tends to a greenhouse after the death of her parents, completing simple tasks, planting, propagating and watering. We follow the journey of the crops, as they grow taller through, rain, thunder and wind until harvest. The plastic sheets of the greenhouse fall into disrepair, before being restored for the next season.
“I learnt a lot about building the film language of The Plastic House and trying to mimic the meditative experience of working in a greenhouse; by using long takes and sound design made up of natural sounds recorded on location,” says Chhorn.
The film is almost entirely without dialogue. In silence and the natural sounds of wind and rain, we can still feel the love for family and care in the work being done.
The Plastic House, filmed over four years entirely by Chhorn on her family farm in South Australia, is a reflection on the ordinariness of life, the simplicity of planting, tending, persistence and decay until the cycle begins again.