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Golden Reawakening…

October 16, 2009

…is the somewhat awkward title of a show of Cambodian movie memorabilia that will open at the Chinese House here in Phnom Penh on Saturday.

The show, organized by the “Kon Khmer Koun Khmer (Cambodian Films, Cambodian Generation) group led by French-Cambodian film maker Davy chou, aims to give an overview of the brief “Golden Age” of Khmer cinema between independence from the French colonial rule and the tyranny of the Khmer Rouge, when the post-colonial nation underwent a period of “Khmerization” that touched upon all the arts, from the architecture of Vann Molivann to the uncanny Asian garage rock of local beat bands.

Arguably, it was cinema, where Khmer culture expressed itself most directly and with the least reference to Western and colonial culture. It was a cinema where the overflow of a liberated imagination was only limited by tiny budgets, as these ten minutes of utter cinematic madness show.

Most of these films are impossible to see outside of the country (or in fact in the country most of the time…) So, if in Phnom Penh right now, make use of the opportunity, as the exhibition is accompanied by film screenings and conversations with some of the survivors of that period, such as Cambodian diva Dy Saveth and directors such as Ly Bun Yim, Yvon Hem and Ly You Sreang.

More as it happens, more information here.


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