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Season 2, Episode 1: Dong Van Plateau

Season 2, Episode 1: Dong Van Plateau

Red Sky (2016) by Olivier Lorelle - France

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"Vietnam 1946, a rebel, a soldier, an infinite love" [Director's subtitle].

Do you like intimate cinema? The one that reveals the subtlety of feelings and the fulgurating landscapes? If so,  go watch the "Red Sky" movie, entirely shot in Vietnam in a lush landscape, in the heart of opulent nature, dense forests and spectacular mountains. The film depicts the love story between two people who met during the Indochina war in 1946. Philippe is French. He has enlisted to pacify a territory he does not know. Thi is a young Vietnamese partisan of the Viet Minh who fights for the unity and independence of her country. Very quickly, the soldier decides to desert in the face of the exactions he witnesses and refuses to torture the courageous women. The two heroes run away together and hide in the jungle heart. Alone, far from the world, they will learn to know each other... 

Did you know that?

Olivier Lorelle is a French screenwriter whose favorite themes are wars and political issues around the world. In 2007, he received the César for best original screenplay and the César for best adaptation for the film "Indigènes", a great success at the time. With Red Sky, he signs his first feature film for the cinema.

Fun fact

At an altitude of 1600 meters, the fortified palace of the former king of the Hmongs - a group of several Vietnamese communities who resisted the Chinese invaders - built in 1920 - reflects the history of the country with its mixed Chinese and French architectural influences. Its name "King's Castle" comes from the construction of two dungeons made out from French rocks!  

Geological features 

The Dong Van Plateau is a karst landscape of 2350 km2 is located in the extreme north of Vietnam. Its breathtaking landscape includes massive limestone rocks and deep canyons, mainly due to the water corrosive and erosive action which dissolves calcium carbonate. The highest peak, Mount Meo Vac, reaches 1600 meters while the canyons can go down to 800 meters deep. The long geological evolution of the area covers the Cambrian-Ordovician (600-400 million years ago), Devonian-Carboniferous (390-360 million years ago), Permian (360-310 million years ago) and Triassic (250 million years ago) systems visible through the sediments pile. The configuration of the site reflects important events in the Earth history, such as the two mass extinctions of the Devonian and the Permo-Triassic crisis. Indeed, during the Devonian extinction - between 380 and 360 million years ago - 75% of marine species disappeared. 

The Earth's atmosphere contained almost ten times the concentration of CO2 that exists today. The climate was arid on the planet. As plants consume carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, their terrestrial development caused a drastic decrease in this atmospheric concentration and thus a drop in temperature. Many marine organisms could not sustain it. As if this was not enough, the proliferation of plants has also caused anoxia in marine environments, probably by eutrophication. Algal production would have been boosted by the massive arrival of organic matter from the continents.

The Permo-Triassic extinction, which occurred about 252 million years ago, marked the disappearance of 95% of marine species and 70% of terrestrial vertebrates. It stands out as the largest mass extinction that has affected the biosphere. This event is described by the paleobiologist Douglas Erwin as "the mother of all mass extinctions". Its causes remain a subject of debate. Is it linked to a catastrophic event such as the eruption of a supervolcano, meteorite impacts, a progressive degradation of the environment as a consequence of the formation of Pangea?

Finally, the Dong Van Geopark includes 3 groups of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, as well as stratigraphic, lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic specificities. Its paleontological diversity is surprisingly high with 19 groups of ancient organisms consisting of fish, exceptional flora, brachiopods, bivalves, trilobites, foraminifera, corals, conodonts, crinoids and fossilized paths of mollusks. 

The Geopark has two nature conservation areas with rare animal species: Asian black bear, southern serow - a solitary mountain goat - and many bird species. It is home to the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, one of the 25 most endangered primate species in the world!






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