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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