The Plastic House (2019)

Docu-fiction, Experimental, 46 mins
Language: Khmer & English


A young woman constructs a solitary reality by imagining what life would be like after the passing of her parents. Absorbed in the slow process of working alone in the family’s green house, she relives shadow memories of her Cambodian mother and father. The healing ritual of physical labour gradually reveals itself over time. As the plastic roof bears the weight of natural elements, the increasingly precarious weather threatens this new life alone.

Press Kit - PDF download


Oct 2019 -      OzAsia Festival - World Premiere, curated by Nicholas Godfrey

April 2020 -    Visions du Réel - International Premiere, Switzerland
                         Burning Lights Competition

June 2020 -     Sydney Film Festival - Documentary Australia Foundation

Aug 2020 -      MIFF 68½ - Melbourne International Film Festival

Aug 2020 -     Festival ECRÃ - Brazil Online

Sept 2020 -     FIDBA - Argentina Online

Sept 2020 -    
New York Film Festival, Currents Section, US online

Sept 2020 -     Lima Alterna Film Festival, Peru online
                        (Winner of the International Competition)

Oct 2020 -      Black Canvas Film Festival, Mexico online 

Oct 2020 -      FICValdivia, Chile online

Oct 2020 -      Linea d'Ombra Festival, Italy online             

Nov 2020 -     RIDM, Montreal International Documentary Festival
                        Québec online

Nov 2020 -     Pravo Ljudski Film Festival, Sarajevo online

Dec 2020 -     Beijing International Short Film Festival

Sept 2021 -    EXiS Experimental Film and Video Festival, South Korea

Jan 2022 -        Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, QAGOMA, Australia


By Adrian Martin: 
"Like in Chantal Akerman’s classic Jeanne Dielman … (1975), the absorption in everyday duties and gestures of work creates its own, unusual kind of tension – as well as its own unfolding drama."

CityMag article - Family, Identity & the Asian-Australian experience in ‘The Plastic House’

By Laura Davis at Film Explorer:
The Plastic House is a poignant and oblique poem. Its silences stir and images tear.”

By Mónica Delgado at Desistfilm:
“In times of isolation, Chhorn’s film appears as a déjà vu , not only because it explores a type of solitude that fits well with the climate of social distancing, but because from its mode of production (to the extent that the filmmaker did, in all sense, the film), allows the hope of the continuity of the cinema, from the “do it yourself”, and the investigation of the language of the cinema from minimal resources, but with absolute inventiveness.”

By Francisco Álvarez at Cámara Lúcida:
“The real world and the dream world become indiscernible.”

By Joshua Brunsting at CriterionCast:
"Almost the definition of a tone poem, Chhorn’s film is an unforgettable experiment in narrative, looking at one woman’s attempt to combat her grief by tending to her family greenhouse."

By Kyle Faulkner on Letterboxd:
“Slow, ethereal, melancholic and pensive.”

By Dannzel Escobar on FilmStreet:
Her films evoke something highly textured and viscerally felt...”

Interview at Film in Revolt with Isabelle

By Addy Fong at Something You Said:
Chhorn’s parents in the The Plastic House show a keen interest in gardening, which seems to parallel the experience of many migrant families including mine who often struggle trying to settle into a new country whose customs feel foreign to them.”

By Louise Sheedy at Senses of Cinema:
"The film feels both universal and highly specific: a gift to those that have lost and a peek into an incredibly private, lonely experience."

By Claire Cao at Roughcut:
“For her, the possibility of loss not only comes with grief, but also the weight of hereditary responsibility.”