RAINY SEASON takes the viewer deep into rural Vietnam to the home of the Hoang family and tells an intimate story set in a vast historical context. While searching for grasshoppers, seven year-old Thien (“Tien”) found an American mortar in the family’s rubber tree grove. Moments later his mother, Nu, heard a huge explosion and within hours Thien died in her arms. The viewer learns what happens on the other side of the gun, a rare view that shines a light on the far-reaching hidden effects of war that shatter a family’s simple existence.
RAINY SEASON opens two years after the accident. Verite scenes and Nu’s revealing conversations with aid worker Chi create a visceral experience for the viewer, as the family moves through their grief. Impressionistic and lyrical, RAINY SEASON bears witness to civilian voices still affected by the bombs from America’s decade-long bombing campaign in Vietnam.
Although leftover bomb accidents in Vietnam are not widely publicized, they are not rare at all. Serious accidents still occur twice every month in the central provinces. Of the eight million tons of bombs that the U.S. deployed, it is estimated that up to 10% are still unexploded. The Hoangs are afraid of the bombs in their field, but “still must farm the land.”