Cambodia International Film Festival: Lost Loves
The big event of the Cambodia International Film Festival was the premiere of the movie “Lost loves” by Cambodian Chhay Bora. It is the first film of the director who runs a travel agency as a day job, and who has written, directed and financed the whole film entirely by himself.
That might sound like an amateur production, but in fact, it is the best-looking Cambodian film in years. Shot on video, the film- the story of a family under the Khmer Rouge – is almost too beautiful to look at, given its subject matter. The Khmer Rouge had their own distinct gloomy aesthetics, but the film dwells in pleasant images of sunsets, lush green rice fields and waterfalls that serve as a backdrop to the sinister story of a family whose members are killed off one after the other, until only the mother and her two young children survive.
“Lost Loves” is an impressive accomplishment, a well-made Cambodian film on a subject matter that seems to slip from public consciousness all to easily in Cambodia. After years, where Cambodian movies were mostly cheapo horror films with the occassional cheesy melodrama thrown in, this is finally a movie from Cambodia that one can take serious again.
The film deserves to be widely seen, both in Cambodia and abroad, and there is little doubt that it will.