Friday, March 13, 2009

Bleak and powerful

3 drug addicts from Vancouver's Eastside in Heroines
I invested some time this evening to watch a couple of documentaries that had absolutely nothing to do with Cambodia. Meta House was the venue for two films by a man with 30 years in tv, film, music and theatre, Stan Feingold. An Emmy-winning director, Stan is in Cambodia for a reason, but more of that later. Tonight, he introduced two of his films, Prisoners of Age, an immersion into the world of geriatric convicts whilst following the photographic work of Ron Levine, followed by Heroines. The latter is a story of drug addiction and prostitution in Vancouver's Eastside, again mirroring the work of another photographer, Lincoln Clarkes. All pretty bleak stuff but powerful portraits nonetheless and which have been seen all over Canadian television and are still used for educational purposes. When Stan is not back in Canada producing reality-tv shows, he's currently shooting footage for a landmine awareness film focusing on the controversial Miss Landmine Cambodia project, which is underway. He was kind enough to let me know he's a regular reader of this blog, which introduced him to Karen Coates, the author of the excellent book Cambodia Now and her photographer husband Jerry Redfearn, both of whom then arrived to watch the films at Meta House. Small world. Karen and Jerry are now living back in the States but also split their time here in Asia. It was good to see them both again. Talking of photographers, I hope to have some news soon of a brand new photographic gallery and exhibition space opening up in Siem Reap, courtesy of my good friend Eric de Vries. Between you and me, he's managed to persuade veteran photographer Tim Page to exhibit some of his iconic photographs for the first month of the gallery's existence. Quite a coup.

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