Synopsis: Deep in the jungle of Central Vietnam, lies a magnificent underground kingdom.
Hang Son Doong which translates as “mountain river cave”, is the largest cave passage in the world and a place of spectacular beauty.
With more people having climbed Everest than visited Son Doong, its pristine charm has remained undisturbed for millions of years.
In 2014, Son Doong’s future was thrown into doubt when plans were announced to build a cable car into the cave.
With many arguing that this would destroy its delicate eco-system and the local community divided over the benefits this development would bring, the film follows those caught up in the unfolding events.
Beautifully shot and scored, “A Crack In The Mountain” is a powerful exposé about how both good and bad intentions can ultimately lead to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders being trampled for money. As well as inspire those who care about our natural heritage to fight to protect it.
Giang Hoang Dang
When approaching the story of Son Doong Cave I knew from early on that I wanted this film to be more than just a pretty nature documentary.
Son Doong is an extraordinary place. Of that there is no doubt.
But alongside capturing the cave’s beauty, I also wanted to tell a human story.
At its core, A Crack In The Mountain is a lens through which to explore the challenges which modern day Vietnam faces.
To those outside the country, so much of Vietnam’s identity is defined by the war and while this has inevitably played a part in shaping the Vietnam we have today, there is so much more to it than that.
As the clock ticks down and people around the world struggle to find that optimum balance point between environmental sustainability and economic growth, nowhere is this battle more keenly contested than in a rapidly developing nation such as Vietnam.
Throughout the process of shaping the narrative, I wanted to make sure that the film didn’t take the easy road and just become another polemic raging against the destruction of the natural environment.
Instead, my goal was to try and convey some of the complexities of this difficult and challenging issue.
It would be easy to simply say that places like Son Doong should be protected and preserved, no matter what.
But to what lengths should we go to protect a beautiful place? When does the cost to the local people become too high a price to pay? Is Nature there to serve us or are we merely custodians of something which is far bigger than ourselves?
These are some of the contrasting issues A Crack In The Mountain aims to explore.
Alastair Evans is a Producer / Director living in Tokyo, Japan.
“A Crack In The Mountain” is his first feature film and was awarded “Best International Documentary” at the 2022 Sedona International Film Festival.