A rare glimpse of life in the Lao People's Democratic Republic as it recovers its past and prepares to face its future. In 1991 Lao and Australian archaeologists journeyed up the Mekong to a remote village in north-eastern Laos. At Ban Xan Hai, "the village of the jar makers", they excavate the site of pottery kilns used for the mass production of ceramics more than 600 years ago. Since the revolution in 1975, Laos has had little contact with the outside world. Now its doors are opening. The exchanges of culture, knowledge and expertise which take place during the three months of the dig are a small taste of what is to come. Western customs and habits make their first appearances in the tiny village, where births, marriages and deaths are still marked by ceremonies dating back at least 600 years. Those were the days when Lao culture thrived and unique styles of architecture, sculpture, music and ceramics were developed. Though Ban Xang Hai means "village of the jar makers", ceramics are no longer manufactured there. The discoveries of this group of archaeologists will shed new light on Laos' past. A Film Australia National Interest Program. Copyright - 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. Executive Producer: Ron Saunders Producer: John Moyle (Producer), Sharon Connolly (Supervising Producer) Director: John Moyle Narrator/Presenter: Bryan Brown.