The Plastic House

Directed by Allison Chhorn, 2019 Australia 46 minutes
All Ages
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After her parents’ death, a young Cambodian-Australian woman begins working in their greenhouse. A meditative, experimental take on memory and healing.

Cambodian-Australian filmmaker Allison Chhorn has made an exceptional hybrid film debut about memory that imagines the tender process of grief. In the aftermath of her parents’ death, their daughter takes over their bean-growing greenhouse – once their livelihood – and gradually becomes absorbed in the work. The ‘plastic house’ is filled with shadow memories of her parents’ presence, all captured on lo-fi camcorder. Foul weather buffets the fragile building, threatening to destroy the daughter’s new life alone. But over time, as the seasons pass, her grief finds solace in the rituals of physical work. “In my case, working the ‘plastic house’ (as I like to call it) involved not just filmmaking but also manual labour, whether that be planting, pruning, picking, or editing. This work is laborious but it can also be meditative,” Chhorn said. “As if the process itself was a way to heal, or at least temporarily forget.”

Allison Chhorn holds an Honours Degree in Visual Arts from UniSA and works as a filmmaker and multi-disciplinary artist incorporating video, installation, photography, painting and musical composition.

Program Strand
Documentary Australia Foundation Award,
All Ages
In Khmer with English subtitles
Allison Chhorn,
Allison Chhorn, Chris Luscri,
Allison Chhorn,
Allison Chhorn,
Allison Chhorn,
Avant-garde, Biographical, Women's Issues, Mental Health, Asia, Women Directors,
Company Credits
Rights Holder: Chris Luscri,