The film centers around a young French widow and her two adolescent children attempt to carve out a meager life for themselves by farming rice fields alongside the ocean in French Indo-China in the 1930's. Their efforts are hampered each year by the presence of the sea, which invariably floods the fields with saltwater and wipes out the crops. In desperation, the mother realizes that their only hope lies in the construction of a sea wall to prevent continued flooding, but the mother must cut a swath through the local bureaucracy in an almost Sisyphean attempt to make this happen. Meanwhile, her obstinate daughter, Suzanne, draws the romantic obsessions of a well-to-do Chinese gentleman, Monsieur Jo; though he could easily provide a way out, the possibility of a romantic relationship between Jo and Suzanne could just as easily fall prey to local racial prejudices that would damage or ruin the lives of both.
Is there room for principle in Los Angeles? Mike Terry teaches jujitsu and barely makes ends meet. His Brazilian wife, whose family promotes fights, wants to see Mike in the ring making money, but to him competition is degrading.
Batman raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague the streets.
Cultural critic David Kepesh finds his life -- which he indicates is a state of "emancipated manhood" -- thrown into tragic disarray by Consuela Castillo, a well-mannered student who awakens a sense of sexual possessiveness in her teacher.
Rebellious Jake Tyler is lured into an ultimate underground fight Scene at his new high school, after receiving threats to the safety of his friends and family Jake decides to seek the mentoring of a veteran fighter who trains him for one final no-holds-barred elimination fight with his nemesis and local martial arts champion Ryan McCarthy.