The story of the bridge on the river Kwai.
Following the Japanese conquest of Thailand and Burma in 1942, the Japanese decide to build a railway line more than 400 km long through the Burmese jungle on the border of Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). This construction would open the way to India. Serge Viallet takes this opportunity to reveal the true story behind the bridge over the river Kwai through the use of numerous witness accounts and a variety of archive footage. In so doing, he demonstrates how events were more complex than those portrayed by David Lean in his famous film. It offers us the chance to take an unprejudiced, non-complacent look at what this mammoth undertaking in a hostile environment, as the line is constructed simultaneously from both ends. The director also penetrates the state of mind of the Japanese soldiers of the time, as well their superiors, who were ever more demanding of their slave workers with little regard for their lives – resulting in more than 26,000 Western deaths not to mention the deaths of over 60.000 of Asian labourers and 26.000 Western prisoners.
Nomination: Emmy Awards 1991
Best Film of the Year, 1992 – Scam; Prize winner at the Chicago International Film Festival, 1991; Grand Prix and Audience Prize, Lagny Film Festival 1992. The film has been broadcast on television in more than 75 countries.