Cinema in Cambodia is almost dead, I would say. Oops! there are few cinemas remain alive such as: Cinema Lux, Sorya Cinema and now the new Hollywood standard Legend Cinema.
But to find a good Cambodian film to watch might be a bit difficult.
The situation is completely different from 60s-70s where Cambodia produced a lot of good quality films. People remember that there are around 400 films in that period. The Cambodian directors at that period also used some special effect in their films.
That was the golden period for Cambodian cinema.
Davy Chou, a French Cambodian filmmaker, also grandson of Van Chann, one of the greatest producers in Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s, has done all his researches to make a documentary about Cambodian films in 60s and 70s.
Davy stated in his outline:
This film is focussed on the intersection of a second generation expatriate Khmer’s dislocated fascination for vitality in Khmer culture and a sense of responsibility in the face of the impending disappearance of an inheritance already devastated by the fires of political violence and the no less frightening flames of memory loss.
It is initially in this urgency (the remaining survivors are old) that the film finds the structure of its formal simplicity: to collect testimonies accurately, within an intimate Framework – at the homes of the interviewees; to leave time to the memories to find the way of the word. As orality has, up until now, been the principal mode of transmission of this history, it seems natural that the shape of film tends towards the almost sacred recording of this word.
The responsibility is thus transferred to the viewer – it is up to them to manufacture the images of this forgotten cinema, up to them to give flesh, life and feelings to a history of which they cannot be a simple off-hand spectator but, in a certain way, a true actor in posterity. Finally it is only when the viewer carries out this personal work of reconstitution and takes a leap of faith will they be rewarded in the final sequence.
I watched the trailer, it was really cool film. Davy confirmed that he except to do premiere screening in Cambodia around October or November. I can’t wait to see the film.
GOLDEN SLUMBERS / LE SOMMEIL D’OR
A film by Davy Chou
Produced by Jacky Goldberg
Documentary / 2011 / 95 min
Produced by Vycky films, Bophana Production, Araucania Films
With participation of CINECINEMA
And the support of CNC, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia, Cambodia Film Commission, Procirep-Angoa, Cinaps TV, Région Rhône-Alpes, Scam-Brouillon d’un Rêve, laureate of Culturesfrance/Louis Lumière, AND Asian Network of Documentary, ANA Arts Network Asia.
Discover the unknown history of the birth and destruction of Cambodian cinema, from the first film ever made in 1960 to the arrival of the Khmer Rouges in 1975. In 15 years, about 400 films were produced.
Only 30 films remain today. Almost all the actors were killed during the Khmer Rouges regime and only a few of the directors were able to flee the country.
Most of the old movie theaters of Phnom Penh have become restaurants, karaoke places or squats. With a few of the survivors telling their stories, Golden Slumbers tries to bring back to life the myths and legends of this lost cinema.