|A still from The Gate with Raphaël
Personnaez (left) and Phoeung Kompheak|
Making its film festival debut this month at both Telluride FF and Toronto IFF, Regis Wargnier's The Gate
, titled Le temps des aveux
French, has received warm consideration from the critics I've read so far. Based on the memoirs of Francois Bizot, it tells the story of his arrest by none other than Comrade Duch before he became commandant of S-21 in Phnom Penh (and oversaw the death of over 18,000 prisoners), and the battle of wits between Bizot and Duch, which ultimately led to Bizot's release. Bizot is played by French actor Raphaël
Personnaez, while the task of mastering the complexities of Duch was given to Khmer actor Phoeung Kompheak, who by all accounts steals the show. Angkor gets in on the act though much of the film was shot in Battambang early last year, with extras aplenty from the expat community there and in Phnom Penh.
It's 21 years since Wargnier won the the Oscar
for Best Foreign Language Film with
Indochine, a film set in the French colony
of Indochina. Rithy Panh get a nod as producer and his Bophana Productions were also involved. I believe it will be shown at the Cambodia International Film Festival which is set for early December.
Labels: Phoeung Kompheak, Regis Wargnier, The Gate