Film Society of Lincoln Center, Old Ghosts,
The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today Old Ghosts, New Dreams: The Emerging Cambodian Cinema (April 19-25). To be presented in conjunction with the citywide Season of Cambodia arts festival, FSLC will team with the great documentarian Rithy Panh to screen a fascinating survey of films from Cambodia.
FSLC Executive Director Rose Kuo said, "This program of films reveal a Cambodia few have actually seen, from the heartbreaking truths and legacy of the Khmer Rouge as well as the Cambodian people who survived that struggle to both endure and maintain their culture - all documented and told through the camera lens."
Among the films screened as part of Old Ghosts, New Dreams: The Emerging Cambodian Cinema will be an exploration of the work of Rithy Panh, led by his documentary, S21: THE KHMER ROUGE DEATH MACHINE (2002), a startling journey back to the notorious Tuol Sleng prison (code-named "S21"), which was converted into a genocide museum, and DUCH, MASTER OF THE FORGES OF HELL (2012), his more recent uncompromising character study of about the first leader of the Khmer Rouge organization to be brought before an international criminal justice court.
Other highlights of the week-long film series will be Davy Chou's GOLDEN SLUMBERS, a moving investigation of Cambodia's lost cinematic heritage with first-hand accounts of the emergence and flourishing of Cambodian cinema with filmmakers at the forefront of creating the films that chronicled life in Cambodia from the 60s through the 70s. The documentary, A RIVER CHANGES COURSE is the feature directorial debut of Kalyanee Mam, the cinematographer for the Academy Award-winning documentary INSIDE JOB. The film which won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival, looks at the damage that rapid development has wrought on Cambodia's land and people. Anne Bass's uplifting documentary DANCING ACROSS BORDERS (2011), follows the journey a young man's dancing talent took him - from the countryside of Cambodia to the halls of New York's School of American Ballet to the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle.
Season of Cambodia, a special initiative of Cambodian Living Arts in partnership with Cambodia's leading arts organizations and New York's most vibrant cultural and academic institutions, will bring more than 125 performing and visual artists to New York City's stages, screens, galleries and public spaces, creating a broad and dynamic platform for Cambodia's cultural treasures to be shared with an international audience. Season of Cambodia will be a celebration of the living arts - of the people and practices that make up our cultural fabric.
Season of Cambodia is co-chaired by Anne H. Bass, John Burt, and Darren Walker.Support for the Season of Cambodia Film program is provided by the Hotel Sofitel New York and Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Additional institutional lead support for the Festival comes from the Ford Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Fresh Sound Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Asian Cultural Council, The Kaplen Foundation, Openbox Inc., EVA Air, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, Sofitel NY and Henry Luce Foundation.
All screenings will take place in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam). Tickets will go on sale April 4, 2013 at the Film Society's box offices; and online at www.FilmLinc.com. Single screening tickets are $13; $9 for students and seniors (62+); and $8 for Film Society members. Visit www.FilmLinc.com for complete information.
Films, Descriptions & Schedule:
DANCING ACROSS BORDERS (2011) 88min
Director: Anne Bass
On a trip to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia in January 2000, filmmaker Anne Bass came across a sixteen-year-old boy who moved her immensely with his amazing natural charm and grace as a dancer. A longtime devotee of the world of dance, Bass felt compelled to give this young boy the opportunity to leave his home and follow a dream that he could not yet have fully imagined. From the serene countryside of Cambodia to the halls of New York's School of American Ballet to the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle, DANCING ACROSS BORDERS peeks behind the scenes into the world of dance and chronicles the intimate and triumphant story of a boy who was discovered, and who only much later discovered all that he had in himself.
Screens Saturday, April 20
DUCH, MASTER OF THE FORGES OF HELL (2012) 110min
Director: Rithy Panh
Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime caused the death of some 1.8 million people. Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, was in charge at M13 for four years before being appointed to the S21 centre in Phnom Penh where 12,280 people perished, according to the remaining archives. The first leader of the Khmer Rouge organization to be brought before an international criminal justice court, Rithy Panh records Duch's unadorned words, without any trimmings, in the isolation of a face-to-face encounter. At the same time, he places it into perspective with archive pictures and eyewitness accounts of survivors. As the narrative unfolds, the infernal machine of a system of destruction of humanity implacably emerges, through a manic description of the minutiae of its mechanisms.
Screens Sunday, April 21 and Wednesday, April 24
Screening on Sunday, April 21 includes intro and Q&A with director Rithy Panh
FIVE LIVES (2010) 93min
Five young Cambodian directors follow five lives in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. The films were produced during a documentary workshop led by world acclaimed director Rithy Panh.
Screens Thursday, April 23
A BLURRED WAY OF LIFE by Sopheak Sao
I CAN BE WHO I AM by Sarin Chhoun
MY YESTERDAY NIGHT by Lida Chan
A PEDAL MAN by Katank Yos,
A SCALE BOY by Kavich Neang
GOLDEN SLUMBERS (Le Sommeil d'Or) (2011) 96min
Director: Davy Chou
Davy Chou's moving investigation of Cambodia's lost cinematic heritage is an oral history with first-hand accounts of the emergence and flourishing of that country's cinema in the 60's as described by directors Lu Bun Yim, Ly You Sreang, former actress Dy Saveth, (the first Cambodian movie star, who now makes her living as a dance teacher), and two middle-aged Cambodian cinephiles who wax lyrical at a café about the glory years. The interviews are interspersed with visits to former Phnom Penh movie theaters that have been converted into Karaoke clubs and restaurants,
Screens Thursday, April 25
THE LAND OF THE WANDERING SOULS (La terre des ames errantes) (1999) 143min
Director: Rithy Panh
The documentary follows a group of workers who are laying a high-tech fiber optic cable that will link Cambodia to the rest of Asia and Europe. The project is a hopeful symbol of the country's slow integration into the world community and the modern technological age. However, for the people employed to actually dig the trench by hand -- a group of rice farmers, ex-soldiers, and their families, the poorest of the poor -- the work is a mixed blessing. This film provides a haunting glimpse into the lives of these indigent workers as they encounter the painful remnants of the past - mines, bones, and a landscaped littered with human suffering - and labor to bring Cambodia into the modern age.
Screens Saturday, April 20
Screening includes intro and Q&A with director Rithy Panh
THE LAST REFUGE (2013) 55min
Directors: Anne-Laure Porée and Guillaume Soun
THE LAST REFUGE follows the resistance of the Bunong, who have been living for centuries of the hills of eastern Cambodia, confronting alienation and annihilation by foreign companies who steal their lands, clear their sacred forests and their traditional cemeteries in order to cultivate rubber plants. In early 2010, a group of "resistants" took refuge on the land of their ancestors in the heart of the forest and recreated a field out of respect for traditional Bunong values.
Screens Tuesday, April 23