Saturday, June 27, 2009
One of the Rithy Panh films that I still haven't see is The People of Angkor, or Le gens d'Angkor, as it was known on its release in 2003. Well I will get my first chance on Wednesday of next week, at the Reyum Gallery on Street 178 at 6pm, when the film will be screened in Khmer with English subtitles (which is a relief as I thought it might've been in French). Panh, who has dedicated his directorial career towards showing Cambodians in tough and tragic real-life situations, vulnerable but also with hope, humour and realism in films like Rice People, Land of Wandering Souls, S-21, The Burnt Theatre and Paper Cannot Wrap Embers, said of his 90-minute movie; "This film is about the people who live there. An inside view in the shadow of the temples and the great kapok trees, an inhabited shadow that the world’s tourists pass through unawares, wrapped up in contemplating the treasures of Khmer art. This is not just one more film about the monuments of Angkor, their history or their architecture....A story of pain and hope, where the past and present are intermingled, where the divine and human complement each other, and where humor enables people to express the anguish of survival, just as art transcends the contingencies of destiny."