Mekong Apocalypse*
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Release Year & TMFF Edition:
Michael Buckley
55 minutes
TMFF Awards:
March-April Nominee - Best Feature Film


The Mekong River is the most productive in the world in terms of fish catch and supply of nutrient-rich sediment. It is the most important river in Asia. But all that is rapidly changing. This is a satirical personal take on ecosystem collapse along the mighty Mekong, with the biggest threat being Chinese megadams in Yunnan, SW China. Take a wild ride on the Mekong from Source to Sea: ‘Mekong Apocalypse’ explores the devastating downstream impact of China’s megadams in Cambodia’s Lake Tonle Sap and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. The filmmaker shot this on the run, getting undercover footage of megadams and illegal sand-dredging. Drawing inspiration from water puppetry theatre in Vietnam, this film features characters like a talking glacier in Tibet, waltzing fish in Laos, and a talking sunflower in Vietnam to get complex concepts across. With this slapstick approach, the film does tend to meander–like the Mekong herself. With its sly nod to Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now,’ this is a documentary with strong elements of a mockumentary. Background music carries a stark message–as a number of tracks have been specially commissioned for the film. This film is part four of a series of films delving into serious ecosystem problems concerning the Tibetan plateau.


*Only a trailer is available for now.


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