Banana Pancakes and the Children of Sticky Rice
by Daan Veldhuizen
When backpackers come to a small village in rural Laos, their arrival divides the local population and disrupts the relationship between two childhood friends. A complex East-meets-West story, told in a cinematographic language that is as rich as it is confrontational.
While the advent of tourists radically changed the original relations within a village somewhere in the north of Laos, Banana Pancakes and the Children of Sticky Rice is not a film about good against evil. The backpackers are not basically looking to unsettle the place; this is just a side-effect of their arrival. And the villagers do dream of more wealth and luxury. The film doesn't condemn, but does tackle the culture clash in crystal clear images and scenes.