Thursday, January 31, 2013

Liddy in a man's world

Lidwina treating an injured Kok Boris
So what’s the story behind Phnom Penh Crown’s mould-breaking female physio, Lidwina Niewold? For mega-rich clubs like Chelsea its almost common practice to employ female medical staff, but for a team in the Cambodian League it’s unheard of. “As a teenager, my dream was to help professional footballers with their injuries. I come from a football-playing family and played for a girl’s team as soon as I could. But I suffered an injury when I was 20 and didn’t get it treated properly. So I know from my own experience how important it is to make sure players get the best possible treatment. I’m addicted to football, I love it. The fact that I can be involved on the pitch and use my physio skills at the same time is like living my childhood dream.” Brummen, in east Holland, is home for Lidwina. A twin, she has four brothers and a sister and football for girls was popular in her area of Holland, enabling her to play regularly and to help train a girl’s team for a couple of years. She studied physiotheraphy in Utrecht for four years including an internship in Indonesia for six months. “That was an amazing experience. I worked in a hospital and then a small health care center in the countryside, and with disabled children.”
Lidwina arrived in Cambodia in November 2011 to work with Dick van der Poel at the Physiotheraphy Phnom Penh Clinic. Early on she treated one of the Crown Academy boys and things kicked off from there. She attended a few Academy games, took over the rehabilitation of club captain Kouch Sokumpheak and was then invited by head coach Sam Schweingruber, to get involved with the senior team. “I’m trying to make the players conscious about their body, and what to avoid. I can treat them with manual physiotheraphy, massage, medical taping or exercising. My goal is to get them back as soon as possible but without risk of more damage. Sokumpheak is a good example. He is coming back from a serious knee injury. Step by step he’s been doing more exercises to strengthen his muscle, coordination and stability. The aim is to get him back playing matches but also to avoid further injury.” She’s only too aware of what can happen if injuries are not treated correctly. “I am my own worst example. When I was 20 I twisted my ankle and damaged my ligaments. Because I couldn’t wait to play again, I didn’t get enough rest, I didn’t do my strengthening exercises properly and it took me a really long time to recover. Now I realize how stupid I was, I just wanted to play and failed to take good care of my ankle. My job now is to make sure that doesn’t happen to the Crown players, and of course, to my clients at the clinic.”
For now, Lidwina is enjoying her involvement with Cambodia’s most go-ahead and proactive football club. Always prepared to try something different, Crown have a recent history of Croatian, British and Swiss coaches, a British press officer, the country’s first-ever youth academy, its own artificial training facility, a fan and community engagement agenda and now its own foreign female physio. “We’d like to have a Cambodian physio working with me, specializing in sports injuries. Not only for now but for the future. Clubs and coaches need to understand what physiotheraphy is and that with physically fit players you can win competitions. If players keep going with small injuries, the body gets weaker and the risk of serious injury grows. Sportsmen are difficult patients. They want to recover as soon as possible and I have to stop them or push them, depending on the extent of the injury. Football is and will always be a man’s world, but nothing is impossible if you have a dream and you follow that dream.”

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Award for Mam

Kalyanee Mam on stage to receive her award
A fabulous reward for Kalyanee Mam’s documentary, A River Changes Course, has arrived in the form of winning the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in the USA this week. The film addresses the issue of land rights and follows the story of three Cambodians affected by this countrywide hot topic. Mam, a lawyer and human rights activist as well as filmmaker, said:
"We're so shocked, the film is about family, a universal film. Not just about globalization but about our connection with each other. Events like these bring our communities together, to celebrate the beauty of our world."

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bringing Angkor to life

John Burgess signs a copy of A Woman of Angkor
A couple of pictures from the book launch of A Woman of Angkor tonight at Monument Books. The author John Burgess gave the audience an insight into his first novel, which took ten years to complete, saying that the hardest part was to tell a convincing, readable story that brought all the strands together in a successful conclusion. In my opinion, I think he did it extremely well. Using the first person to tell the story of Sray and the events surrounding the reign of King Suryavarman in the 12th Century, John has produced a 500-page book of fiction that brings those times to life. I urge everyone to buy a copy. I also loved his first book, Stories in Stones and according to John, he's currently working on something similar for the temple of Preah Vihear. I can't wait to read it.
Renewing acquaintances with the author, John Burgess

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bargain hunters

Rumnea modelling the PPCFC away jersey
Modelling this season's away (blue) jersey for Phnom Penh Crown is the lovely Rumnea. We took a couple of photos before today's Academy v PKR match, which our youngsters won 1-0 in front of a sizeable crowd. Excellent opportunity to show the wider footballing audience what they are capable of, especially as PKR are two years older than our Academy lads. The jerseys are selling at a knock-down bargain $8, which is the price of what they've cost the club to produce, so we are not making a penny profit.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Vivid page-turner

Book launch at Monuments on 29 Jan - Click to enlarge
I'm on the last chapter of A Woman of Angkor by John Burgess. Luckily, as John will be hosting a book launch and signing-session at Monument Books in Phnom Penh on Tuesday 29 Jan at 6pm. It's an incredibly detailed account of life inside and outside the court of King Suryavarman, the Cambodian monarch who oversaw the building of Angkor Wat in the 12th century. Much of it of course comes from John's imagination, and he has built his portrayal around the life of one woman, Sray, and her family members, who held great influence over this particular King. It provides a glimpse into the daily lives of the people of that era, which is something that is missing when you visit the Angkor temples themselves. I haven't finished it yet, but I doff my hat to John Burgess for a fabulous story that is a graphic and vivid page-turner.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Making friends

Meeting two of the Prek Kdam football fans, Miss 22 and monkey-boy
One of the things I take pleasure in is when the Phnom Penh Crown Academy team go and play matches in the provinces. A great opportunity for them to spread the football word, to meet new people, and the same goes for me too. The boys are great ambassadors for the club and the idea is to keep their feet on the ground, even though many of them originally come from rural provinces, by retaining contact with their roots. A football apprenticeship is virtually unheard of in Cambodia, even though its a role that many would give their right arm for, so its important that they don't think they are any different/better than their peers. The most recent visit was out to Prek Kdam two weeks ago. This Sunday the Academy have a good opportunity to show their skills to a bigger audience, when they take on the U-16s of Preah Khan Reach at the Olympic Stadium, KO 2pm. Playing at the Olympic will give more football fans the chance to see both teams, with Crown boasting the best U-14s in the country and PKR having the best U-16s. It should be an intriguing battle.
Making friends, the two teams, Crown Academy (blue) and Prek Kdam, before the kick-off


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Paying respects

Monks waiting patiently to enter the Royal Palace
Had lunch at FCC with clients and then popped over to the Royal Palace area where a few buses of monks had arrived from the provinces and were waiting their turn in the mid-day sun to pay their respects to the King Father. An everyday occurrence at this moment in time.
It was a hot day and only the head monk had an umbrella

Making their way into the Royal Palace to pay their respects

They've had the sign, they are on their way through the Palace gates

A look at the cremation site for the King Father from the roof of Frangipani Royal Palace Hotel

Still un-renovated and falling into disrepair, variously known as the Bodega

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Though it looks a bit like a prison-entry photo, its actually my portrait by 855 Media Group for the official Phnom Penh Crown website. I must admit I'm not overly impressed with the portrait pictures of the Crown squad and Academy youngsters. I think we'd better do them all again.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is the free performance of Fire!Fire!Fire! at the Khmer Arts Ensemble HQ in Takhmao. Its ground-breaking and racy classical dance by Sophiline Cheam Shapiro that includes rape and infidelity in the storyline. At the same time, three of Amrita's best male dancers will be performing two different dances in Bangkok as part of a festival in the city. Then pretty much the whole cream of Cambodia's dancers, classical and contemporary, will be heading to New York in early April for the Season of Cambodia, including Belle, the Royal Ballet troupe and Khmer Arts Ensemble amongst others.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Phare arrives in Siem Reap

Phare brings modern contemporary circus to Siem Reap form 8 Feb
Phare came to see me today in the shape of the lovely Coralie, their head of comms. Who are Phare you may well ask. They are the Siem Reap sister of Phare Ponleu Selpak from Battambang, the circus people. Whilst PPS remain in the 2nd city and will be continuing their regular shows with students/trainees, their professional troupe are moving to Siem Reap to start daily performances, initially in an open-air location, at the back of the Angkor National Museum. They begin on 8 February, performances will cost $15 for their 1-hour show that will start at 7.30pm and they will kick-off with ten consecutive days of Putho! followed by 4 days of their Eclipse show, and then back for another ten days of Putho! and so on. There is seating for 300 but they will expand to a 400-seat arena, in a large tent that will be arriving from France in May. And they are stopping their 1-night per month show in Phnom Penh as well, as the contract with Beeline is coming to an end. They need about 200 people per night to break even and will be looking to get a large chunk of the increasing Asian market that is visiting temple town these days. The Phare performers really are very good and this addition to the cultural offerings in Siem Reap will be very welcome. But don't be confused, this is modern contemporary circus with music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion rather than clowns with big feet and performing elephants. Go, watch and be entertained. I guarantee you'll love it.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm fuming

I am fuming. First wedding party of the season and it turns out to be a friggin nightmare. Not the fault of the bride and groom of course, but Rumnea was the victim of a bag-snatch during the meal, which saw her lose her Galaxy smartphone, money, moto and house keys and several precious mementoes. It was a small handbag, which she lodged between her bottom and the back of the chair as we were eating. Next thing she knew it was gone and despite querying all the serving and drinks staff, it was nowhere to be seen. She was most likely targeted as I was the only johnny-foreigner  at the wedding, and she was the only person to lose her handbag. Which she can ill-afford. We searched high and low once everyone had left the party and then had to get her moto into a tuk-tuk (no easy job, especially when the driver was pissed) to get Rumnea back home. A lesson for everyone - keep an eye on your valuables at all times.

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A hectic morning

Nice surprise this morning when long-time friend and author Loung Ung popped into the office with her husband Mark before heading to the south coast for some R&R with friends. She was back in the city after a rural wedding party in her home province. We'd not seen each other for a while so it was a quick catch-up including an update on her latest writing venture, a fictional novel, that she's about a third of the way through. Then half an hour later, Adrian and Alexia arrived at reception for a chat about their trip around Cambodia to update the next edition of Fodor's Thailand guidebook with side trips to Cambodia and Laos. Last published in 2007, the next edition should be out in July of this year with an enhanced Cambodia section, which also recommends reading my blog/website before you go. In 2007 they said this: Andy Brouwer (, a longtime traveler to Cambodia, has dedicated a good chunk of his life to informing people about the country. Nice job Fodor's. The office was off-limits at lunchtime today with filming taking place for the love story Om Tuk, which the directors are finishing off before submitting to film festivals in the months ahead. They filmed most of their action in November 2011, when a small film crew arrived from Australia and over 21 days shot 85% of the film. Now it needs completion for a mid-2013 release.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

From inside

The dancers on stage - courtesy of Amrita Arts
We saw a different take on contemporary dance at tonight's work-in-progress showing of Horizontal Life at the theater behind Spark nightclub. With the cream of the country's dancers on stage that included Belle, Narim, Leak, Mo, Nan and the narrator, Sopheap, we were treated to their usual boundless energy and professionalism that we've come to expect but also a more touching, personal side with individual commentary from the dancers and the inclusion of their mothers on stage. It was a big departure from the norm and for me it worked pretty well. With an eclectic soundtrack in the background, the performance was the result of a three-week workshop with Korean choreographer Chung Yeun Soo, who wanted to include the dancers own stories. Sopheap and his comedic stilted English commentary was a welcome addition for most in the full house, judging by the laughter it induced, whilst all six performers gave us a display of their talents in abundance.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Up for a top gong

Kim Fay and myself in Phnom Penh in 2009
To say that I'm chuffed for my friend Kim Fay is an understatement. I imagine she can hardly catch her breath. Her debut novel, The Map of Lost Memories, largely based on temple-hunting adventures in Cambodia and released last year, has been nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American author. If you think about how many books are published each year, Kim is one of just six authors up for this gong, which will be announced at a gala banquet on 2 May in New York. My fingers are firmly crossed. Kim was the series editor for my own book, To Cambodia With Love, so we have a long history where books are concerned.
Coming soon to Phnom Penh and Monument Books, another pal, John  Burgess, will be hosting a book launch of his debut novel, A Woman of Angkor, on Tuesday 29 January at 6pm. As I am typing a review copy of the book just landed on my desk. I kid you not. I had better get reading, pronto. And I've just heard that author John Shors will be in the capital in April, for a launch of his latest novel, out next month, Temple of a Thousand Faces. I hope to do a question and answer with the author very soon. It's getting busy around here.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Family snaps

The Phnom Penh Crown Family - click to enlarge
It was the photo-call for Phnom Penh Crown this morning over at the RSN in Tuol Kork. With the sun making everyone squint, it wasn't the best time of day to do a photoshoot, but needs must. Plus the snapper was nearly an hour late. In the end we were just happy to get it done. The senior team and the Academy youngsters together, a logistical nightmare. Anyway, here's a snap including all the players, young and old, coaches and club officials, including yours truly. Can you spot me? Clue - I'm not the one dressed as a woman. That's Chhi, our office accountant. I'm the one in front.
Getting the players organized for the photoshoot


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Comedy back on track

Headline act Brendhan Lovegrove went down a storm
It has been a while coming, but tonight's Comedy Club Cambodia hit the heights again in the shape of both Jonathan Randall and the headline act, Brendhan Lovegrove. In fact it's been a year since Phil Nichol ruled the roost and Lovegrove was on a par with the best quality stand-up we've seen in Phnom Penh. He literally stormed it. American Randall took to the stage first-up and came across very strongly, in fact a perfect MC with a great routine of his own. He could've easily headlined his own gig, he was that strong. A natural and at ease with the audience. Next up was Fakkah Fuzz, who said he was nervous and it showed in his rapid-fire delivery. Almost as if he wanted to rush off the stage. Nevertheless, he did a solid job though he over-egged the references to life in Singapore for my liking. Lovegrove is from New Zealand, so a few Aussies in the audience were meat and drink to his razor-sharp wit and put downs. His delivery was impeccable, his rapport with the audience immediate and his act was a master-class in milking it for all its worth. This was definitely a top quality performance, to end his own personal tour of the Asian stand-up circuit, and to put some fire into the belly of the Pontoon crowd. He will be welcome back anytime. I was gutted he didn't return for an encore. When someone is this good, you simply want more.
MC Jonathan Randall is a natural, and bloody good

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Audio winner

Standing alongside the original Choeung Ek signage, holding my audio tour equipment
Spent this morning at the Choeung Ek killing fields site. I used the audio tour for the first time and thoroughly recommend it for all visitors. It's excellent and provides a much deeper understanding of what took place than any tour guide can provide in the same amount of time. You can dip in and out of it as you wish, do the walking tour in the order you want to or simply skip over the bits that aren't as important to you. My tip, listen to it all, it takes an hour and is well worth it. Admission, with the audio tour in the language of your choice, costs $5. There were a few hundred people there but with most listening to their headsets, it was as quiet as a mouse.

The Cambodian Space Project have brought forward by a day, their upcoming Celebrating Cambodia's Vinyl Era at La Croisette, and will now perform on Thursday 31 January rather than 1 February, when all the bars will be closed and party celebrations will be cancelled out of respect for the funeral and cremation of the King Father at the beginning of the month.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

A fine tribute

A painting of Vann Nath from the Tribute exhibition, by the artist Karay
I attended the Vann Nath Tribute at Bophana Center this evening and amongst the artworks on show, I thought the two photographs by Jim Mizerski were brilliant and a fitting tribute to the great man himself, Vann Nath. Jim told me that it took nearly 3,000 small portrait pictures of the victims from Tuol Sleng to make each large photograph. And for me it worked a treat. There were quite a few other artists work represented including Peter Klashorst, Karay, Thomas Pierre, Sou Sophy and Theo Vallier and more. I didn't stay for the formal opening but recommed you poke your head into Bophana as the exhibition runs until 12 February and Vann Nath deserves his place in the spotlight.
Photographer Jim Mizerski and one of his tribute photographs

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Inspirational witness

Detail from Vann Nath's autobiographical painting of S-21 prisoners
No less than 40 Cambodian and foreign artists, writers and researchers have contributed works to honour Vann Nath, in the Vann Nath Tribute exhibition that opens tomorrow at the Bophana Center in Phnom Penh. Even I was asked to contribute but felt far more people knew him better than I, though I will attend the opening at 6pm to show my support. Vann Nath left us in September 2011 and left a legacy as a talented artist who made it his mission to tell in his paintings what he had witnessed whilst imprisoned at the Khmer Rouge torture center, Tuol Sleng. He testified at the trial of the former S-21 commander Comrade Duch in June 2009. Historian David Handler wrote of Vann Nath; "For over 30 years, Vann Nath was an inspiration, thoughtful witness to a pitch-dark period of Cambodian history. Unlike many survivors of the Khmer Rouge, he was never willing to dig a hole and bury the past. Instead the past lived inside him, every day, and he bore witness to it, courageously but with an accessible, compassionate humanity as well." The exhibition, which runs through til 12 February, will be the first project this year from the Vann Nath's Circle of Friends group, with discussions ongoing with museums about creating an archive of his work so it can be known for its artistic value as well as its historical perspective. Meanwhile, two exibitions have opened at the same time at the Institut Francais in Phnom Penh. Photographer Mireille Vautier concentrates on sculpted details amongst some of the lesser temples like Beng Mealea and how they appear in different light, whilst Thomas Pierre's paintings offer an impressionist style of the monuments. You would be well-advised to visit all three exhibitions.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sporadic posts

My blog posts have been a bit infrequent this week as my brother is in town and he's taking up most of my spare time when I'm not in the office, coupled with the start of the football season, so its all a bit hectic. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy to have him here but it just means I have little time to myself. I'm looking forward to Saturday with the domestic Cambodian football season kicking-off, with Phnom Penh Crown meeting BBU at the Army Stadium (3pm) and the Vann Nath Tribute exhibition at Bophana Center at 6pm that same evening.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

CSP to return

Cambodian Space Project at their previous La Croisette gig
There will be a celebration of Cambodia's vinyl era (ie, the 60s and 70s) when the Cambodian Space Project take to the stage at La Croisette on Friday 1 February, on the riverfont in Phnom Penh. It'll begin around 9pm and will include some yet-to-be-named special guests.

This Saturday night is the opening of the Vann Nath Tribute at the Bophana Center, which will remain in place for a month. Don't miss it. The following Saturday 19 Jan you'll be spoiled for choice with a contemporary dance piece showcasing that night at the Dept of Performing Arts near Spark Nightclub with Belle, Narim and other dancers collaborating with Korean choreographer, Chung Yeun Soo - which will unfortunately clash with the latest visit from Phare Ponleu Selpak to the Beeline Arena in Phnom Penh with their circus show called Chills. Make your choice. The dance is free. Tickets for the circus are at Monument Books.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Funny bones

Brendhan Lovegrove - he's big down-under
The next Cambodia Comedy Club event has been booked for Wednesday 16 January. As usual it's at Pontoon in Phnom Penh, 8.30pm start and tickets retail at $8 a pop. Three comedians have been booked, with Fakkah Fuzz from Singapore, New York's geek-a-like Jonathan Randall and the Kiwi funnyman Brendhan Lovegrove, regarded as one of the very best down-under, who's had a stint on the UK scene and even appeared in a women's magazine discussing his addiction to drinking. Now there should be some comedy mileage in that alone.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Friendly Flavours

I'm lining up for a Flavours team photo with the waitresses
Our gastronomic journey around the capital brought us near to home this evening, to Flavours restaurant in BKK1, where the food quality was pleasant enough but the female staff on hand with their friendly banter made the dining experience that little bit more fun, especially with Tim (aka Casanova) trying out some of his newest Khmer chat lines.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Flambe on film

Mind your eyebrows with a female staff member keeping a safe distance
Tim is not quite sure whether the banana flambe will singe his eyebrows or whether the vodka level will blur his picture-taking capabilities. Perhaps he's never seen a banana before. I'm not quite sure. We were enjoying the food at Aria d'Italia on St 310 as part of our gastronomic extravaganza that included Khmer, Italian, Korean and Spanish in a little over 24 hours. We also caught the Cambodian national team friendly against a touring university team from South Korea. Cambodia lost 1-0. Not the most glorious point in Cambodian football history by any stretch of the imagination. In fact in six meetings against Ulsan University over the past few years, Cambodia have recorded one solitary draw and five defeats. A tad unimpressive I would suggest.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Déjà vu, again

Original movie poster for Nine Circles of Hell
On 15 Feb 2010, I wrote the following: Why can't I be in two places at one time? Answers on a postcard. This coming Saturday afternoon is one of those occasions. The quarter-finals of the Hun Sen Cup will be in full swing at Olympic Stadium, it's football so I'm drawn to it like a moth to a lightbulb, whilst at 4pm that same afternoon, a film will be shown at Bophana that I've wanted to see for a long time. Nine Circles of Hell, a love story set during the Khmer Rouge regime, was filmed in Cambodia in 1987 and featured a Czech-Cambodian collaboration. Though I won't be there, you can see it at Bophana Center on St 200 at 4pm this Saturday. It'll be the Khmer version, rather than the Czech version!
Well blow me down with a feather, its happening again. This Saturday (5 Jan at 4pm) Nine Circles of Hell will be shown again at Bophana and I won't be there, again. I have another football match to attend. I'm going to have to arrange a private screening of this film at some point in time.
An earlier post said this about the film: In searching for films and documentaries to show at Meta House that haven't been seen, or very rarely, in Cambodia, I've heard about a film that was shot in Cambodia in 1987 and released a couple of years later. 130 minutes in length, it was made by Czech filmmaker Milan Muchna with the aid of the Cambodian Culture Ministry and called Nine Circles of Hell (Devet Kruhu Pekla). Set amidst the Khmer Rouge takeover, it tells the poignant story of a Czech doctor who falls in love with a Cambodian actress played by Oum Savanny and they have a child. Forced to leave the country, the doctor, played by Milan Knazko, returns after the KR regime is ousted to search for his child. As film making was still very much in its infancy in the 1980s, it may've been the only co-production movie set and filmed solely in Cambodia during that era, unless you know different.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

For film buffs

A gorgeous picture of the dancer Belle taken recently in Jamaica - Belle will perform in Phnom Penh on 19 Jan
Just a few prompts on some upcoming film showings which might be of interest. Tomorrow night (Thursday) at Meta House, from 7pm, there will be two short films, with English subtitles, on the justice and reconciliation process for survivors of the Khmer Rouge period. This Saturday (5 Jan) at 8pm at the French Institute cinema, the film of the play Cambodia, Here I Am, will be screened in Khmer language with the playwright and the actresses on hand to answer questions. On Sunday  (6 Jan) and back at Meta House, filmmaker Marc Eberle will talk about, and screen, his film, Aung San Suu Kyi: The Choice, an hour long documentary on the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner at 7pm. A very different type of film, a two hour documentary by Kevin MacDonald, will be shown at Meta House on Thursday 17 Jan, called The Reggae Prophet: The Life of Bob Marley, the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary and legend from 7pm. If you've never heard of Bob Marley, go immediately to a dark room and lie down. After one hour, get up and google him. He gave reggae music an international appeal. There will never be another Bob Marley.

On Saturday 19 Jan you'll be spoiled for choice with a contemporary dance piece showcasing that night at the Dept of Performing Arts with Belle (seen in the photo above), Narim and other dancers collaborating with Korean choreographer, Chung Yeun Soo - which will clash with the latest visit from Phare Ponleu Selpak to the Beeline Arena in Phnom Penh with their circus show called Chills.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It can only get better

I'm not overly impressed with the start to the new year. A headache from the night before wasn't helped by the brain-numbing construction noise from the house next door but one, the power was out for at least four hours so I had to endure a cold shower by candlelight, and my cleaner decided to take the day off without warning, leaving a mountain of laundry festering in the hallway. We had to decamp to Aussie XL for a fry-up just to cheer ourselves up. The rest of the year can only get better.


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