Motherland

Ordinary lives caught up in larger realities

A former French colonialist soldier returns to modern-day Vietnam working for an international mining company. With him are his Australian wife and daughter. The northern rainforests of the country harbour rich ruby mining fields, and the Frenchman must oversee the clearing of the forest. But an ethnic people living there and a female Buddhist monk resist his ambitions.

The monk looks after a temple commemorating the spirits of the soldiers who died in the war against the French in 1954. In his burning ambition to destroy the forest, the Frenchman uncovers ghosts from his past and a tragic realisation far more valuable than precious stones.

Performed in English, French and Vietnamese with surtitles.

Motherland was five years in the making, involving artists from France, Vietnam and Australia.Composer Dominique Probst is one of France’s leading contemporary composers, his opera Maximilien Kolbe featuring text by legendary writer Eugene Ionesco.Vietnamese born writer Le Quy Duong is one of Australia’s brightest new writing talents.

2002:  World Premiere, Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse (31 October – 1 November)