Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Coffee time

A lovely start to the day, a coffee with my god-daughter Vansy (in purple), her younger sister Matey, youngest brother and cousin Nin.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Number 1

Guess what recently topped Lonely Planet's list of the 500 best experiences on the planet. Correct. Angkor. Or as Nick Ray exclaims in this video. "Put them altogether, there's no debate. It's No 1." See what he has to say on the LP YouTube @ https://youtu.be/dCxkcDuW7AY

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Coming Home - The Last Reel

The Last Reel (www.thelastreel.info), an award-winning Cambodian movie produced by Hanuman Films, will be in cinemas in Cambodia from Friday 4 September 2015, including Major Cineplex, Platinum Cineplexes and Legend Cinemas. 
The Last Reel is one of the first feature films to be directed by a Cambodian woman, Sotho Kulikar, and was shot entirely on location in Cambodia with a cast of leading local talent, including screen legend Dy Saveth, rising star Ma Rynet and Ros Mony.
"A lost film buried beneath the Killing Fields reveals different versions of the truth. In an abandoned cinema, rebellious teenager Sophoun discovers an old film starring her mother, offering her the chance to dictate her own destiny at last, but at the cost of uncovering some dark secrets from the past about her parents lives during the Khmer Rouge regime."
The Last Reel has already won multiple international awards, including the 'Spirit of Asia' Award for Director Sotho Kulikar at the Tokyo International Film Festival in Japan in October 2014; the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ Award for Sok Sothun at the Asean International Film Festival & Awards in Malaysia in April 2015; and the ‘Black Dragon’ Award at the Far East Film Festival in Italy in May 2015.
The Hollywood Reporter
“With The Last Reel, Cambodian cinema’s resurgence as a filmmaking force continues apace... Sotho Kulikar conjures remarkable performances from her lead actresses in an attempt to reflect historical schisms through the tropes of rebellious-daughter family drama.”
Watch the official trailer for The Last Reel: https://youtu.be/Gii_klcdikY

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Scary

In the SOS clinic
Not how I would wish to spend 12 hours, hooked up to monitors, ultrasound at Calmette, x-rays and tests at SOS international clinic. Chronic stabbing pains just under my heart at 9pm yesterday and really appreciate Rumnea's fast reaction to help me, doubled-up, to SOS. Turned out to be a stomach problem rather than heart or lungs, but quite a scare after many years of pretty good health. We can't take anything for granted. Must say the bedside manner of Dr Zerby at SOS was excellent.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Temple in the clouds

Catching up with John Burgess
The re-arranged talk about his new book, Temple in the Clouds, saw author John Burgess recount Preah Vihear's full history, ancient and modern (in brief) at Meta House on Tuesday. It was good to catch up with John and to hear more of his passion for his topics.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Footy selfies

I keep getting dragged into selfies on the pitch after Phnom Penh Crown games. Our fans are really making a difference this year with their vocal support and we remain in 2nd place in the league table, unbeaten after 12 matches.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Facebook - friend or foe?

Facebook - friend or foe? It seems there's an open season, via facebook, by anyone with a grudge, and I seem to have developed a few football enemies recently. Individuals like Sopheaktra Phea and Sam Vandeth have been having a poke at me (the latter even exaggerated his poke by going on television and calling me out) and I am torn between defending my reputation or ignoring their puerile and baseless rants. To-date I've bitten my tongue and done the latter, but it's tiresome in the extreme to have these people poisoning my breathing space. One of their claims is that I look down on Khmer people, which is ridiculous in the extreme, as anyone who knows me, will agree. They have no idea that in the 1990s/2000s, my website on my travels around Cambodia was one of the first by a western traveller to bring the beauty and majesty of Cambodia and her lovely people to a western audience, and that I am the editor of a book, To Cambodia With Love, in which I express my sincere affection for the country and its inhabitants through its 240 pages. My intro for the books says it all:
'This is not a definitive guide to Cambodia. Far from it. It is about inspiration, discovery, sharing, and above all else, a love and a respect for a country that has changed my life forever, as I hope it will change yours.'
People like Sopheaktra Phea and Sam Vandeth have no idea what this country means to me. And they will never understand because they have their own agendas.

Footnote: There were more lies spouted on TV again today, on a second football program. The attacks are very personal and completely without foundation or merit. However I refuse to be drawn into a tit-for-tat public showdown.

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