Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Cambodia film festival

Quick, book a ticket to Phnom Penh. Pookai Books reports that the 2nd Annual Cinema Cambodia Festival is going on this weekend at Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh.

Focusing on documentaries, among the highlights will be a screening of Fragile Hopes. Narrated by Susan Sarandon, the piece looks at survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime and their relationships with their children. It features the music of rapper Prach Ly.

The opening film is called Bookwars, by Jason Rosette, which takes a look at the lives of a group of used book sellers in New York City. Rosette will be on hand for a discussion.

There also will be a package of short films by Cambodian filmmakers.

Other films focus on Cambodia's culture:
  • Memm by Chuon Sarin explores the origins of the memm, an ancient Khmer musical instrument depicted on the walls of the Bayon Temple.
  • Cambodia's Dump Children by Katy Bullen is the story of the children living at Phnom Penh’s Municipal Waste Dump and one Cambodian man’s inspiring effort to help them.
  • The Moaning of Madam Kesany by Sann Thy focuses on a traditional Khmer singing style called “smote”. This type of singing is often sung at Cambodian religious festivals, including funerals.
  • Beauty of Cambodian Arts by Chuon Sarin examines the renaissance in Cambodian art forms and efforts at preservation.
  • Women and Education in Cambodian Society by Chhim Sundaly looks at the difficulties faced by young Cambodian women in trying to obtain an education.
  • The Khmer Rouge Rice Fields: The Story of Rape Survivor Tang Kim by Rachana Phat explores the story of Tang Kim and her decades-long struggle to come to terms with what happened to her during the Khmer Rouge regime.
There will also by a play called Like You, featuring the Life of Hope Improvisational Drama Group, about the difficulties and discrimination faced by disabled people in Cambodia.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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