Dir: Davy Chou
France / Cambodia /2011/96mins
Print Source: Hwa-Seon Choi - email@example.com
Program notes and title curated by Richard Kuipers
Official Selection: Berlin
Almost non-existent until 1960, Cambodia’s film industry emerged virtually overnight and produced more than 400 feature films in 15 years before the Khmer Rouge commenced its genocidal regime in 1975. By the time of the Khmer Rouge’s downfall in 1979 almost every film had been destroyed and most of Cambodia’s creative community had been executed.
Golden Slumbers director Davy Chou, grandson of Vann Chan, one of the most prolific producers of the era, weaves rare archival footage and priceless remnants of Cambodia’s rich cinematic history around the illuminating and frequently heartbreaking testimony of surviving industry figures.
Cambodia’s first screen goddess and still an active performer and teacher, Dy Saveth (The Snake King’s Wife, 1969), gives a marvelous account of her experiences as the star of around 100 movies. Ly Bun Yim, a wonderfully entertaining raconteur and self-taught filmmaker, discusses his string of hits including the legendary fantasy epic 12 Sisters (1968).
With poignant footage of what remains of Phnom Penh’s picture palaces and film studios, and a superb soundtrack of classic Khmer pop music, Golden Slumbers is a beautifully assembled tribute to the artists who flourished during Cambodia’s brief golden age of independence and optimism. The final images are pure cinematic poetry.
Festival guest Davy Chou will join Richard Kuipers in conversation and Q+A following the screening .