THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES
4PM: FEATURE FILM – As the Syrian refugee crisis finally receives the political response it deserves, see by yourself what science-fiction can teach us about the dangers of denying compassion and ignoring a humanitarian crisis. CHILDREN OF MEN (2006, 109 min) takes place in Britain 18 years after humanity becomes infertile. As the only stable nation left on earth, the UK is the destination for thousands of asylum seekers fleeing chaos elsewhere. Clive Owen is a nihilistic shell of a man charged with protecting an African refugee and her seemingly miraculous unborn child. Watch it for its brilliant screenplay and its phenomenal cinematography and action set pieces, but it’s the disturbing vision of our societies that’ll stay with you.
7PM: DOCUMENTARIES – A flourishing mail order bride industry in Asia is leading to sex trafficking and domestic violence, even murder. 101 East investigates the dramatic increase in the trend in South Korea, and growing calls for stricter screening of interracial unions. This is investigated in ASIAN BRIDES FOR SALE (2015, 26 mins). BRIDE WITH A PRICE TAG (2015, 18 min) is the story of a Cambodian woman who was lured into marriage and ended up being enslaved. The victim, who has since returned to her home in Cambodia, is being supported by the USAID-funded Cambodia Counter Trafficking in Persons program (CTIP), which is implemented by Winrock International. She is not alone. There are many others like her.
8PM: DOCUMENTARY – Combat cameraman and correspondent, Neil Davis worked at the extreme front-line, capturing memorable images of the Vietnam war, taken under fire. David Bradbury’s documentary FRONTLINE (1979, 54 min) examines the many roles that a cameraman can play in wartime. The portrait that emerges of Mr. Davis is one of a daredevil, an arbiter, a diplomat, a hero, even a fighter. Ironically, in September 1985, having survived so much war, Neil Davis was killed filming an attempted coup in the streets of Bangkok. Screening is presented by the Overseas Press Club of Cambodia (OPCC).
9PM: FEATURE FILM – In the aftermath of the shooting of five Australian journalists in East Timor, a curious sixth named Roger East (Anthony LaPaglia) is convinced by charismatic acquaintance Jose Romas-Horta, a man who would prove to have a bright and influential future, to investigate the incident. BALIBO (2009, 90 min) is a political thriller and true-crime story based on 1975’s Balibo Five executions and an ensuing 30-year cover-up. An incredible film with a well crafted script, beautiful cinematography and a touching story that exposes a deep anger and sorrow.
6PM: EXHIBITION OPENING – Since Cambodia’s first democratic elections more than a decade ago, 13 journalists and media professionals have been murdered in the line of work. Of these cases, only one has seen a conviction. This impunity for crimes against journalists creates a culture of fear and self-censorship in which journalists do not feel free to report the truth. And while some journalists pay the ultimate price for their reporting, the cost is highest for the Cambodian people, many of whom are unable to access independent information on issues that directly affect their lives. A LEGACY OF IMPUNITY: CRIMES AGAINST JOURNALISTS IN CAMBODIA profiles each of the journalists murdered in Cambodia since 1993 and delves into the effects of impunity on Cambodian media and society. The exhibition is presented by the Cambodian Center for Independent Media.
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – During her 2015 visit to Cambodia, American first lady Michelle Obama told adolescent Cambodian girls to battle for education, stressing that it is crucial to fighting injustice. In Siem Reap, she met with Sokha Chen (16), a former scavenger from poor upbringings. Through a series of miracles, Sokha had become a star student, as well as an accomplished classical dancer. In GIRL RISING (2013, 101 min) Sokha’s story is told by Loung Ung, one of the most powerful voices to emerge from Cambodia. Her bestselling memoirs, like “First They Killed My Father”, have brought home the tragedy of Cambodia for millions of readers. Richard E. Robbins’ film also features riveting stories of eight other girls from Sierra Leone, Haiti, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Peru, Egypt, Nepal and India. It is narrated by Hollywood celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Meryl Streep and many others.
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – Rod Harbinson’s DEFENDERS OF THE SPIRIT FOREST (2014, 25 min) is a film set in the rainforests of Cambodia. The Cardamom mountains are a remaining jewel of biodiversity in a country where forests are dwindling fast. Still home to rare species like the Siamese crocodile and Asian elephant, the forest is under great pressure from people exploiting its natural resources. This film explores the pressures from the perspective of the local indigenous people who have been custodians of the forest for generations. For them the forest and its creatures are part of a rich spiritual world that is respected and revered. Now their lives are under threat from a proposed hydro-electric dam which threatens to sweep away their land and the sacred forests on which they depend.
7.45PM: FEATURE FILM – Even the rare Cambodian you meet who doesn’t believe in the supernatural will usually have a deep and abiding respect of other people’s belief in it. This is a country of magic, spirits and ghosts. Italian director Antonio Nardone shot his mystery thriller BLOOD RED KARMA (2010, 82 min) in Kampot and Phnom Penh. Through a series of flashbacks, the protagonist Irene tells the story of her boyfriend Marc, who disappeared in Cambodia while researching about mysterious ghost stories. One of the actors is Yon Davy, better known as a leading light amongst the countries contemporary dancers.
4PM: SHORT DOCUMENTARIES – A deep transformation from tradition to modernism is taking place, which has many repercussions throughout Cambodian society as a whole. Transsexuals, or “ladyboys”, as they are often called, were traditionally tolerated as a third sex, but rarely truly accepted in Cambodian society. In the past, they have faced serious discrimination. As a result, they often grouped together and lived in a small parallel world, with their job options limited to beauty salons and the sex trade. Today, transsexuals in Cambodia are contributing to increasing openness towards them by living their identity more confidently. We invite you to watch a set of short documentaries on the topic, directed by Cambodian filmmakers: TWO LIVES, ONE HEART (2014, 19 min) and MY NAME IS UNTAC (2014, 13 min) by Hem Vanna; I CAN BE WHO I AM (2011, 21 min) by Chhoun Sarin. Robert F. Douglas’ FROM THE HEART OF THE BRAHMA (2014, 30 min) depicts the life of Prumsodun Ok (Prum), a Cambodian Classical dancer, teacher and community leader focused on reviving and revitalizing a thousand year old art form nearly lost to genocide. Prum’s work as associate artistic director at Khmer Arts Academy focuses on preserving the traditional art form, while his personal avant-garde work combines traditional Cambodian dance with queer influences in an attempt to question the role of modernity and the absence of same sex love in heteronormative mythology. While Prum’s work is embraced by many young Cambodian artists that look to art as a tool for social change, traditionalists fear it threatens the fabric of Cambodian identity.
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that counterfeit drugs are associated with up to 20 percent of the one million malaria deaths worldwide each year. Reliable statistics in Southeast Asia are hard to come by, partly because the damage seldom arouses suspicion and because victims tend to be poor people who receive inadequate medical treatment to begin with. Partly shot in Cambodia, Mark Hammond’s PHARMACIDE: THE MEKONG (2012, 52 min) follows the proliferation of substandard and counterfeit medicines in Cambodia and other South-East Asian nations.
8PM: DOCUMENTARY – Unbeknownst to the public, Marlon Brando – a great star who remained deliberately mysterious to the press and the world at large for his entire professional life – created a vast archive of personal audio and visual materials over the course of his lifetime, often deeply confessional and completely without vanity or evasion. Now – for the first time ever – those recordings come to life in Stevan Riley’s LISTEN TO ME MARLON (2015, 102 min). Charting his exceptional career as an actor and his extraordinary life away from the stage and screen, the film reveals the complexities and contradictions that were Marlon Brando by telling the story in his own words – and only his own words, revealing a man more humane and compelling than anyone ever could have imagined.
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – For nearly 20 years a civil war raged in northern Uganda. The rebels of the Joseph Kony’s LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) were waging a bloody guerilla campaign. They abducted children and conscripted them as soldiers, forcing them to kill their own people. LOST CHILDREN (2005, 103 min) by Ali Samadi Ahadi and Oliver Stoltz documents the lives of four children, from 8 to 14 years old, who successfully escaped the LRA.
7PM: SHORT FILMS AND TALK BY SENIOR GERMAN FILMMAKER MICHAEL BRYNNTRUP – Michael Brynntrup is a German experimental filmmaker and media artist living in Berlin. Besides experimental films and video installations, his better-known works also include electrography, digital art and internet art projects. Brynntrup often performs the leading role in his movies. He is able to integrate a personal diaristic strategy using humour and pathos to subvert, to create films which are both intimate and visually stunning. Over 70 experimental short films and videos since 1981, four feature films. Film exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art New York in 1987, 1992 and 1999. Participation in many international film festivals (17 premieres at Berlin Film Festival since 1984). Numerous film awards and solo presentations (‘Werkschauen’ at film and media art festivals, e.g. in USA, Canada, Russia, France, Spain, Finland, Poland, Brasil, Colombia, Korea and Indonesia).
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – Realizing the limitations of existing education and information material about Cambodia’s transitional justice process, filmmakers Ella Pugliese and Nou Va implemented a participatory film project. Providing an alternative to the centralization and ‘one-way’ flow of most media in the context of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the project offered Khmer Rouge and their descendants a chance to get deeply involved in the filming process, from conception to production. For the participatory film project WE WANT (U) TO KNOW (2012, 54 min) by Ella Pugliese and Nou Va. Cambodian villagers use video cameras to document what they have gone through during and after the Khmer Rouge era. In October 2013 the film has won the Community Cinema Award in Yamagata.
8.30PM: VERBAL HIGH COMEDY NIGHT – Join us for the 16th installment of Verbal High, Phnom Penh’s stand-up comedy showcase! Tony Morewood hosts your favorite returning acts and new-comers alike as they debut their freshest new material, all to benefit Elephant Asia Rescue and Survival Foundation. $2 entry; doors open at 7:00, show starts at 8:30. DJ After-Show-Party!
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – If there was a photograph that captured the horrific nature of the Vietnam War it was that of a nine-year-old girl running naked down a road, screaming in agony from napalm burns. In KIM’S STORY – THE ROAD FROM VIETNAM (1997, 50 min), director Shelley Saywell makes poignant use of news footage of that time, when the dreadfully wounded little girl ran to journalists at the scene for help, help that was extended heroically. Interviewing the doctors and journalists who 25 years ago ensured Kim’s survival, Saywell accompanies Kim Phuc on a remarkable odyssey to Washington’s Vietnam memorial Wall, as part of the U.S. Veterans Day ceremonies. There, dignitaries struggled to hold back the tears as Kim, still in their minds the little girl, made it clear that her mission was one of forgiveness and a wider healing.
7PM: SHORT FILMS BY GERMAN FILM STUDENTS, PRESENTED BY PROF. MICHAEL BRYNNTRUP – The “Hochschule für Bildende Künste” (HBK) in Braunschweig is one of the few art schools in Germany with a separate class dedicated to film/video in the art context. The film/video works produced here are original artworks, equivalent and comparable to (for example) sculptures, paintings, or musical compositions. The focus is not only on developing one’s own personal vision, but also on examining the audiovisual medium in all its potential, including a critical engagement with contemporary (and ubiquitous) media realities. Every style and artistic strategy is welcome, including staged film scenes, documentaries, animation, and (of course) “classical” experimental works. The program presented here is a selection of 11 films from last year’s production of the Film Class. This program covers the entire spectrum, but always with the signature of the Film Class. On the one hand are highly polished and staged films, but with the filmmaker also in the picture, as the “hero/heroine” of the narrative. At the other end of the spectrum, we see the “classical” found-footage film, but with the highly personal commitment of the auteur. All these works have the subjective approach in common. They are all authentic testimonies of personal perceptions and understandings.
9PM: CLASSIC CULT MOVIE – The bizarre hallucinations of a heroin addict in withdrawal provide the basis for CHAPPAQUA (1966, 92 min) by director Conrad Rooks – based on Rooks’ own experiences with drug addiction and his reaffirmation of life while visiting Switzerland. Part of the appeal of CHAPPAQUA is its appearances by famous figures of the 1960s including author William S. Burroughs, French actor Jean-Louis Barrault, guru Swami Satchidananda, jazz musician Ornette Coleman, musical group The Fugs, beat poets Allen Ginsberg and Moondog, and Ravi Shankar — who co-wrote the score with Philip Glass. The film depicts its namesake, Chappaqua, New York as a sleepy hamlet in Westchester County, symbolic of drug-free suburban childhood innocence as well as one of the film’s references to Native American culture.
Tomorrow’s November 9 has been the date of several important events in German history. The term “Schicksalstag” (engl.: Fateful day) has been occasionally used by historians and journalists since shortly after World War II, but its current widespread use started with the events of 1989 when virtually all German media picked up the term. There are five notable events in German history that are connected to 9th November: the execution of Robert Blum in 1848, the end of the monarchies in 1918, the Hitler putsch attempt in 1923, the Nazi antisemitic pogromes in 1938 and the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.
To celebrate the occasion, we invite you to taste Bavarian dark and blonde “Hofbräu” wheat beers. Our kitchen chef will prepare sausages, sauerkraut and other German delicacies in the Art Cafe. German music all night long. .
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – Dr. Ottara Kem never spoke about his Cambodian past to his German daughters. But on his deathbed he desired to be buried in Cambodia. With the fulfillment of his wish begins an intense, conciliative, and poetic journey through the story of his life. BONNE NUIT PAPA (2014, 101 min) is directed by Ottara’s daughter, Marina Kem. Tracing the footsteps of her father, the German filmmaker immerses herself deeper and deeper into the history of Cambodia’s ideological wars and towards her Cambodian family and identity.
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – SCENT OF HOME (2015, 45 min) tells the story of migrants from different backgrounds who came to Germany before the Berlin Wall came down – some to East Germany, the others to West Germany. How did they experience reunification? And how do they see their adopted home today?
8PM: FRAGMENTS OF THE BERLIN WALL (2014, 40 min) is an impressive film collage by Marc Bauder made from historic, often little-known archive footage. The emotional and visual power of his work evokes the dimension and brutality of the Berlin Wall, which separated the city for 28 years.
9PM: FEATURE FILM – Noted German director Volker Schlondorff helms this riveting exploration of 1970s West German political terrorism. THE LEGEND OF RITA (2000, 1003 min) focuses on collusion between the East German secret police, and the West German terrorist group Red Army Faction (RAF). The fictional characters all have close parallels to real-life RAF members.
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – Devastating footage of executions and men lying beheaded in the street illustrates the severity of the threat of the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Militants patrol the streets to ensure their religious standards are being upheld, and citizens are encouraged to report any transgressors, even if they are family members. IS permitted filmmaker and Vice News journalist Medyan Dairieh to have exclusive access to their operations for three weeks, allowing viewers insight into the horrifying inner world of jihadist militant extremists. THE ISLAMIC STATE (2014, 43 min) is a stark, harrowing wake-up call to the realities of religious fundamentalism in the Middle East and the corruption of generations being raised to believe violence is the best defense of their beliefs.
6PM: EXHIBITION OPENING – “SOLITUDES” BY NGET CHANPENH Waiting, smoking, enduring, fighting, defecating, masturbating, wondering, pondering, meditating, praying: In this little inventory of 17 moments of solitude, Nget Chanpenh illustrates, without intending to, through a raw but delicate way to paint, the famous Buddha quote : “ Man was born alone, lives alone and will die alone”. He endorses it by using a paradoxical expressionist style, both thoughtful and yet wildly spontaneous. Nget Chanpenh is a 22 years old artist from Romcheik 5 Studios in Battambang. He already participated to many collective exhibitions in Cambodia and in France; “Solitudes” is his second solo exhibition and his first at Meta House.
8PM: CLASSIC DOCUMENTARY “THE JUNGLE WAR” – By the early 1980s, the world knew that Cambodia had been ravaged by a human catastrophe. From safe havens in Thailand, the Khmer Rouge received aid from China and the United States to wage an insurgency against the new Hanoi-backed government. The East-German documentarians Walter Heynowski und Gerhard Scheumann (Studio H&S) investigated this for the third part of their “Kampuchea”-Triology. THE JUNGLE WAR (1983, 90 min) features interviews with Ieng Sary, Son Sann and HRH Norodom Sihanouk.
4PM: For he PBS Frontline documentary HUNTING THE NIGHTMARE BACTERIA (2013, 54 min), David Hoffman investigates the alarming rise in hospitals, communities, and across the globe of untreatable infections. Fuelled by decades of antibiotic overuse, the crisis has deepened as major drug companies have abandoned the development of new antibiotics. Without swift action, the miracle age of antibiotics could be coming to an end. ‘HUNTING THE NIGHTMARE BACTERIA’ is a film with frightening resonance in Cambodia, which has recently seen an alarming rise in drug-resistant strains of malaria.
7PM: VIDEO ART – David Rylands (born 1979) studied electroacoustic music at The Queensland Conservatorium. He then worked at the University of Auckland School of Music as a teacher of electroacoustic music composition and as a sound technician. He is currently based in Brisbane and works as a teacher and artist. David’s work can be found at www.drsoundart.com. In 2015 David and his partner Rebecca travelled for 5 weeks in Cambodia. The video footage taken on the trip has been arranged into moving-image collages that document activities performed as well as certain places and objects of interest. DAVID RYLANDS’ CAMBODIA (2015, 30 min) explores the connection between everyday activity and a sense of belonging through engagement with place. The sound and video was gathered throughout Cambodia during March 2015.
8PM: DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE – Iara Lee is a Korean Brazilian film producer, director and activist who works mainly in the Middle East and Africa. Meta House invites you to the exclusive screening of her two most recent films: K2 AND THE INVISIBLE FOOTMEN (2015, 52 min) and LIFE IS WAITING: REFERENDUM AND RESISTANCE IN WESTERN SAHARA (2015, 58 min)
K2 AND THE INVISIBLE FOOTMEN (2015, 52 min): Located on the border between Pakistan and China, K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth. For many climbers, it is an even greater prize than Everest, with limited routes, a steeper ascent, and a harder push to its summit. Nicknamed the ‘Savage Mountain,’ K2’s peak juts unprotected into the atmosphere, regularly exposing climbers and porters to life-threatening weather conditions.
Despite being paid at rates far below those received by international expedition leaders, such porters — whether they provide critical supplies to expedition base camps or take on higher-altitude tasks in support of ascending climbers — do some of the most difficult and dangerous work and these efforts make them worthy of recognition as the true heroes of mountaineering.
In K2 AND THE INVISIBLE FOOTMEN, filmmaker Iara Lee and team chronicle the lives of both Pakistani porters and Nepalese sherpas. The film also follows the first official all-Pakistani climbing team, made up of former porters, who successfully summited in 2014, in celebration of K2 60th anniversary. Amid breathtaking scenery, the film depicts the everyday sacrifices of porters and the courage of those indigenous climbers who choose to return to scale K2 in spite of past tragedies. In their striving to perfect their craft, these mountaineers provide a fresh look into the cultures and national traditions of Pakistan, a country typically portrayed in the foreign media as merely a land of conflict and sectarian strife.
LIFE IS WAITING: REFERENDUM AND RESISTANCE IN WESTERN SAHARA (2015, 58 min): Forty years after its people were promised freedom by departing Spanish rulers, the Western Sahara remains Africa’s last colony. While a UN-brokered ceasefire put an end to armed hostilities in the territory in 1991, the Sahrawi people have continued to live under the Moroccan armed forces’ oppressive occupation, and what peace exists in the area is fragile at best. Tens of thousands of Sahrawis have fled to neighboring Algeria, where over 125,000 refugees still live in camps that were intended to be temporary. In spite of these difficulties, a new movement, with youth at its center, is rising to challenge human rights abuses and to demand the long-promised referendum on freedom. Today’s young generation is deploying creative nonviolent resistance for the cause of self-determination. In doing so, they’ve had to persevere against a torrent of conflicting forces. While risking torture and disappearance at the hands of Moroccan authorities, they’re also pushing back against those who have lost patience with the international community and are ready to launch another guerrilla war.
The new film from director Iara Lee will examine these tensions as it chronicles the everyday violence of life under occupation, giving voice to the aspirations of a desert people for whom colonialism has never ended.
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – US architect Michael Reynolds builds Earthship (self-sustaining) homes from tires and beer cans. Filmed over three years in the U.S., India and Mexico, GARBAGE WARRIOR (2008, 86 min) is a brilliantly constructed film about a larger-than-life, passionate visionary who shows that simple change isn’t just urgent, but blindly obvious and well within reach. All we have to do is take a second-hand look at what we’re dumping out our back doors it’s a terrific introduction not only to Reynolds’ work, but to the extraordinary political and economic hurdles facing anyone who hopes to make positive change.
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – Imagine getting 15 directors (individually) in the same room — from indie auteurs to Hollywood blockbuster helmers — and asking them each the same question: Cinema, is it a language about to get lost, an art form about to die? In 1982, while at the Cannes Film Festival, Wim Wenders (who was debuting “Hammett”) did just that. ROOM 666 (1982, 55 min) chronicles the interviews Wenders conducted with 15 directors during the festival. To achieve as frank, genuine, and unadulterated answers as possible, he used the same exact camera and room setup for each session. What follows during his 43-minute film is some of the most honest, informed perspectives on the direction of film from over a dozen people entrenched in the industry. Featuring Spielberg, Godard, Fassbinder, Herzog, Antonioni & many more.
8PM: KROM MONSTER CONCERT – This November sees the return of “Krom Monster” to the Phnom Penh scene – showcasing a unique collision of Khmer instruments and contemporary electronics. On their eponymous debut (Incidental, 2012) and the subsequent Versions (Metal Postcard, 2014), Krom Monster sketched out a unique take on Cambodian musical forms – where traditional melodies combine with ragged beats, digital noise and lush soundscapes. The project is the brainchild of UK sound artist David Gunn, who is also the founding Director of Incidental, a cross-disciplinary creative organization working at the borderlines of art, new media, community practice and education.
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – MORNING SUN (2003, 117 min) attempts to create an inner history of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1964-1976). It provides a multi-perspective view of a tumultuous period as seen through the eyes—and reflected in the hearts and minds—of members of the high-school generation that was born around the time of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and that came of age in the 1960s. Others join them in creating in the film’s conversation about the period and the psycho-emotional topography of high-Maoist China, as well as the enduring legacy of that period.
7PM (Gallery): CLASSICAL CONCERT – 12th International Music Festival presents ‘Revolutionary & Romantic’ a piano recital with works by François Couperin (1668-1733), Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Franz Liszt (1811-1886). Piano – Stephan Cassar (France)
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – On April 8th, 1994, “Nirvana”-frontman Kurt Cobain was found dead of a gunshot wound, sustained three days earlier, in his Seattle home. Many, including the Seattle Police Department, believe this gunshot wound was self-inflicted. Some do not. KURT COBAIN: MONTAGE OF HECK (2015, 132 min) makes a persuasive case for its subject without resorting to hagiography and includes plenty of rare and unreleased footage for fans. The genius of the film is that director Brett Morgen eschews not only predictability, but also the pretext of trying to give definitive answers when the more rewarding path to understanding Cobain’s life and career is through questions.
9PM: DJ PARTY – CHEMISTRY @ VINYLMANIA with DJ BART RICARDO – The monthly VINYL MANIA DJ NIGHT at Meta is dedicated to those who missed out on the pops and hisses of album listening, not to mention the awesome cover art that’s a lot more impressive than the digitized postage stamps you see when you play a song on your iPod. Tonight, Special Guest DJ Bart Ricardo (Belgium) and Dr. Wah Wah (UK) will spin house music, funky disco and lots of white labels.
4PM: CHILDREN DOCUMENTARY – Chandani’s great-great-grandfather was a mahout, an elephant trainer. The skills are usually passed down to the sons, but Chandani has no brothers and she wants the job. In this documentary film that feels like fiction, Chandani breaks with tradition and challenges everyone’s beliefs that a girl cannot train an elephant. Her father brings her a baby elephant and she eagerly takes up the challenge of getting him, and herself, ready to ride in the Perahera, a noisy festival where decorated elephants are paraded through the town. An engaging and dramatic story, Arne Birkenstock’s CHANDANI – THE DAUGHTER OF THE ELEPHANT WHISPERER will have your kids asking for an elephant for their next birthday. Winner of the 2011 LOLA award for Best Children’s Film (Germany). Ages 8+.
7PM (Gallery): CLASSICAL CONCERT – 12th International Music Festival presents The beautiful tone of “Fräulein Klarinette” – a clarinet recital with works by Robert Schumann (1810-1856), Heinrich Sutermeister (1910-1995), Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). Clarinet – Ikeda Bonsamnang (Cambodia); Piano – Etienne Chenevier (France)
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – Who is Vivian Maier? Now considered one of the 20th century’s greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Since buying her work by chance at auction, amateur historian John Maloof has crusaded to put this prolific photographer in the history books. In FINDING VIVIAN MAIER (2014, 84 min), her strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.
9PM: FEATURE FILM – Inequality, injustice and the demands of the world we live in cause stress and depression for many people. Some of them, however, explode. The Argentinian film WILD TALES (2015, 115 min) is about those people. Damian Szifron’s Oscar-nominated masterpiece is an insane and delightful collection of stories that combines thrills and dark comedy for a spellbinding and unforgettable experience. Szifron orchestrates each sequence expertly, demonstrating a flair for delivering absurd complications with marvelous comic timing and rich cinematic style. While it embraces elements of the spaghetti western as Tarantino’s films do, it also finds new ways to explore them.
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – DOGORA (2004, 80 min) is a film without a narrative, actors or plot, weaving a sensorial tapestry of existence in and around early 21st-century Cambodia. Patrice Leconte glimpses the people and the elements of the landscape that make Cambodia so culturally specific. The famous French director, who in this film also became the cameraman, showed the constant and monumental movement of people and the relationship between them. This film without doubt is the director’s most personal project, yet captivates others visually and with its sound.
7PM (Gallery): 12th International Music Festival presents ‘Voyage’ – a piano recital with works by Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Henri Dutilleux (1916- 2013), Slamet Abdul Sjukur (1935-2014), Olivier Messiaen (1909-1992) and Dieter Mack *1954. Piano – Cicilia Yudha (USA/Indonesia)
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – What calls you? What beacons with a burnish so bright you’re compelled to move without abandon and beyond rationale? Psychologist and Emmy-winning filmmaker Dr. Tom Vendetti says it’s the Himalayan Mountains that have called him. For nearly three decades, he’s answered that call time and again. Chronicling his 30-year adventure in the Himalayas is Vendetti’s latest documentary WHEN THE MOUNTAIN CALLS: NEPAL, TIBET AND BHUTAN (2011, 57 mins), which features an interview with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Vendetti explores the change over the decades to the people, land, climate and culture. Soundtrack is by jazz flautist Paul Horn and Christopher Hedge.
8PM: KOREAN FEATURE FILM – One of the most controversial Korean directors, Kim Ki-duk is a self-taught filmmaker who prides himself on his outsider status. In his award-winning drama 3-IRON (2004, 88 min), a battered woman finds her soul mate in a most unusual manner. Akin to a ghost story in its eerie characterizations and themes of spiritual transcendence, this is easily the director’s most romantic film, though, when it comes to Kim, subjects like “romance” are never quite what they appear. Evanescence is the movie’s most distinguishing characteristic. Beautifully staged and performed, a sly wit with the camera work, an almost silent presentation of a lovely story.
6PM: EXHIBITION OPENING – The scars of Cambodia’s wars and genocide are more than psychic: this little nation in the heart of Southeast Asia is one of the most densely mined places on earth. And like those mines, the legacy of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge exacts a constant — and hidden — toll, leaving the country mostly poor, politically repressive, corrupt and violent. In her meditation on the scars of war in Cambodia, WAR REMNANTS OF THE KHMER ROUGE, the photographer MAUREEN LAMBRAY has chosen to emphasize portraits of badly maimed victims of the land mines that were mostly laid during the wars that preceded and followed the Khmer Rouge rule. The quiet mood of her carefully composed and lit portraits of land-mine victims, as they stare intently into the camera, belies the horror of their mutilation. The exhibition is courtesy of Documentation Center of Cambodia and the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh.
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – In a post-Khmer Rouge society, Cambodia still continues to fight with the ghosts of war. The dominance of landmines throughout rural villages remains a lingering danger and daily threat to the lives of innocent civilians. This issue has spread to become a widespread crisis, as over one thousand people across the globe are killed each month due to landmines. Even as war in the effected areas is in the past, these poverty-stricken regions remain helpless in a struggle with the “toxic waste of war.” David A. Feingold’s SILENT SENTINELS, COWARD’S WAR (1995, 54 min) features interviews with the civilians who have experienced death and amputation firsthand.
8PM: DISCUSSION ON PEACE AND RECONCILITIATION IN CAMBODIA with Dr. Sok-Kheang Ly (Director) and Ms. Suyheang Kry (Deputy Director) from the Anlong Veng Peace Center. The Anlong Veng Peace Center is a new endeavor under the umbrella of the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) working to promote reconciliation in the former Khmer Rouge (KR) stronghold of Anlong Veng and other former KR areas after the civil war (1979-1998).
4PM: Winner of the “Sundance Festival”, the must-see-documentary ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE (2009, 93 min) is a personal journey into the heart of darkness by Khmer journalist Thet Sambath, whose family was wiped out in the Killing Fields. From the foot soldiers who slit throats to Pol Pot’s right-hand man Noun Chea, Sambath records shocking testimony never heard before. Amidst his journey to discover why his family died, we come to understand for the first time the real story of Cambodia’s tragedy.
7PM: Closed for Function / Jim Brooke
6PM: GREEN NIGHT – Cambodia’s environment is increasingly under pressure from a number of sources, including rapid development and the impacts of climate change. The bi-monthly GREEN NIGHT at Meta House is held in cooperation with SMART. NGOs and social enterprises display their products, brochures etc. in the gallery.
7PM: A RIVER’S TALE – A YEAR ON THE MEKONG. Join multimedia journalists Luc Forsyth, Gareth Bright, and Pablo Chavanel as they present selected stories and issues they discovered on their in-progress year-long journey up the Mekong. From the South China Sea in Vietnam to Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake to the mountains of Laos, the A River’s Tail team has spoken to hundreds of southeast Asians living along the Mekong, and in the process have learned multitudes about the social and environmental challenges facing the river. After opening words from the project’s funder, the Singaporean-based Lien Aid Foundation, Luc, Gareth and Pablo will give a multimedia presentation of their findings, followed by an open Q&A.
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – After civil war breaks out in Sierra Leone in 1991, thousands flee to the nearby country of Guinea. At a refugee camp, guitarist Francis Langba meets singer Reuben M. Koroma and his wife, Grace, and the three begin playing together. Over the years, the group expands to become a six-piece ensemble composed of fellow refugees. After peace is declared in 2002, the group waits to hear if they can return home while conducting a tour through other camps in the riveting music documentary SIERRA LEONE’S REFUGEE ALL STARS (2005, 80 min).
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – How do humans find meaning in the face of overwhelming horror and tragedy? SCARED SACRED (2004, 105 min) is a critically acclaimed documentary that takes audiences on a journey to the “Ground Zeros” of the world, searching for stories of hope and significance. During his five-year odyssey, award-winning filmmaker Velcrow Ripper travels to the killing fields of Cambodia, war-torn Afghanistan, the toxic wasteland of Bhopal, post-9/11 New York, Bosnia, Hiroshima and others. Interweaving visually stunning footage with insightful interviews with people determined to heal themselves and those around them, the film becomes a remarkable testament to the human spirit as Ripper discovers the human potential to transform the “scared” into the “sacred.”
(Visiting the ‘Ground Zeros’ of the planet, filmmaker Velcrow Ripper asks in SCARED SACRED (2004, 105 min) if it’s possible to find hope in the darkest moments of history. He travels to Cambodia; Afghanistan; the toxic wasteland of Bhopal; post-9/11 New York; Bosnia; Hiroshima, Israel & Palestine.)
9PM: DARKSIDE DJ AND LIVE MUSIC PARTY – Phnom Penh’s best electronic live acts and DJs gather for this monthly EDM music happening at Meta House. Performances by ELECTRICK UNIVERSE feat. Audio Mainline and Invisible Agent. DJs ANTARO & ANDY FREAK. Check out the true underground spirit!
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – Celebrated filmmaker Werner Herzog turns his attention to one of the largest Buddhist gatherings in the world in WHEEL OF TIME (2003, 80 min). Each year, thousands of Buddhist pilgrims travel to the village of Bhod Gaya in India (the place where the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment) to take part in the Kalachakra Initiation. As the visitors stream into Bhod Gaya, many traveling on foot and often stopping to prostrate themselves as a sign of devotion, a team of monks create a beautiful and intricate sand painting on Mount Kallash, which is scattered to the winds by the Dalai Lama at the end of the 12-day celebration as a symbol of the impermanence of existence. Herzog documents the ancient rituals of this ceremony as well as profiling the Dalai Lama and some of the many Buddhists who travel to India for this event.
7PM: For young Burmese, punk music is a way to stand up against a hated government. In their songs, they criticize the appalling living conditions in Myanmar and call for freedom and human rights. In the 90’s, sailors brought the first punk rock cassettes into the isolated country. Since then a scene with several hundred followers has emerged in Yangon. YANGON CALLING: PUNK IN MYANMAR (2012, 60 mins, Engl.) introduces the main protagonists of the punk rock scene and shows their life in Myanmars’s underground. During six weeks, the filmmakers Alexander Dluzak and Carsten Piefke filmed secretly and without authorization in Yangon, using small cameras.
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – With unprecedented access, CARTEL LAND (2015, 98 min) is a riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent “Knights Templar” drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border. Filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. From executive producer Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER, ZERO DARK THIRTY), CARTEL LAND is a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil. At the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Heineman received both the Directing Award and Special Jury Award for Cinematography in the U.S. Documentary competition.
8.30PM: CAMBODIAN ROCKS DJ PARTY – In the two decades between independence and Pol Pot, Cambodia took Western Rock ‘n’ Roll and refashioned it in its own image. Please welcome Cambodian record collector DJ ORO from “Cambodian Vintage Music Archive”, mixing rare Cambodian Vinyls. Special Guest: Filmmaking DJane SAO SOPHEAK.
4PM: FEATURE FILM – Weary residents of a war-ravaged country drift through life in the Sri-Lankan drama FORSAKEN LAND (2005, 108 min). Some films offer up their mysteries openly; others, like this quietly affecting debut by then 27-year-old Vimukthi Jayasundara, keep their secrets close, revealing them gradually shot by shot, scene by scene. Even though it won the Camera d’Or at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, the film was banned in its home country by the UPFA Government of Mahinda Rajapakse in tandem with the Sri Lankan military. The filmmaker received death threats and relocated to France for a few years.
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – Stanley Harper’s 18-year-old cinematic odyssey CAMBODIA DREAMS (2009, 90 min) is an amazing film in more ways than one. Apart from being made against all odds in a politically volatile country, it achieved the miraculous feat of ‘connecting’ a mother and daughter, living on either side of the border, who did not even know, they existed. The movie chronicles the parallel lives of one family, half of whom went to one of the refugee camps in Thailand, while the other half stayed in their village in Cambodia. This seemingly simple story is enriched by the grandmother, Yan Chheing, who has an extraordinary grasp of the complex issues involved.
9PM: FEATURE FILM – Offering a seldom-seen view of inner Mongolian life, URGA (1991, 109 min) provides insight into the effects the encroachment of modernization has had upon the tradition-based lives of the hardy steppe farmers. The tale centers on the relationship between one farmer and a Russian truck driver who nearly drowns after crashing his rig into a lake. The farmer, who was on his way into town to procure birth control, rescues the trucker and brings him home. For the Russian, it is a strange new world that at times borders on the surreal.
CLOSED FROM 23/11 – 26/11
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – Partly shot in Cambodia, THE TRUE COST (2015, 92 min) is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. Andrew Morgan has directed is a groundbreaking docu that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?
7PM: Using the Khmer Rouge Tribunal as a starting point, Susanne Brandstätter’s THE FUTURE’S PAST (2012, 91 min) takes a deep look into the lives of young Cambodians on the brink of adulthood. As the trial accusing a perpetrator of the Pol Pot regime progresses, it becomes a catalyst for a new generation of Cambodians questioning their parents, families and neighbors about the inhumanities their nation has suffered. Brandstätter accompanies three families on two different continents – two Cambodian families and an immigrated Cambodian family in Paris, France – recognizing that the truth is only to be found among those who survived and that the past can best be questioned by those who are about to build a future.
9PM: FEATURE FILM – What would it be like to step inside a great work of art, have it come alive around you, and even observe the artist as he sketches the very reality you are experiencing? Lech Majewski’s THE MILL AND THE CROSS (2011, 96 min) brings to life Pieter Bruegel’s masterpiece “The Way to Calvary”, the story of the crucifixion, setting it in 16th century Flanders under brutal Spanish occupation. Rutger Hauer plays the artist, Michael York his patron, and Charlotte Rampling the Virgin Mary. As epic events unfold, bawdy country living continues unabated: couples entwine, musicians play wind instruments, soldiers torment their enemies mercilessly, and children scurry about. Using sophisticated computer technology, the filmmaker creates a brilliantly complex and fascinating multi-layered dreamscape that melds iconic moments in art, history, and religion with the quotidian lives of ordinary people.
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places in the world and home to the last of the mountain gorillas. In this wild, but enchanted environment, a small and embattled team of park rangers – including an ex-child soldier turned ranger, a carer of orphan gorillas and a Belgian conservationist – protect this UNESCO world heritage site from armed militia, poachers and the dark forces struggling to control Congo’s rich natural resources. When the newly formed M23 rebel group declares war in May 2012, a new conflict threatens the lives and stability of everyone and everything they’ve worked so hard to protect. Urgent investigative report and unforgettable drama, Orlando von Einsiedel’s VIRUNGA (2014, 90 min, is a work of heart-wrenching tenderness and heart-stopping suspense.
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – Lauren Shaw’s ANGKOR’S CHILDREN (2014, 66 min) is about Cambodia’s cultural and artistic renaissance told through the voices of three young Cambodian women who are the first generation after the Khmer Rouge genocide that killed two million people which included 90% of artists and intellectuals. A singer of Buddhist poetry, a circus artist, and former garment workers, grassroots, protest band; these are ANGKOR’S CHILDREN. Sreypov, Phunam, and Messenger Band have stepped out of the dark past of their parents by expressing the resiliency of Cambodia through their art and advocacy. They are pioneers, and are part of a global movement of women who are changing and inspiring the world. ANGKOR’S CHILDREN is a film of hope for post-conflict nations that are also seeking renewal through cultural and artistic expression.
8.30PM: ITALIAN FEATURE FILM – In this era of fairy-tale prequels, sequels and spinoffs, how often do we encounter stories of wicked queens, licentious kings and captive princesses in which we don’t already know what happens next? That’s the thrill of Matteo Garrone’s TALE OF TALES (2015, 125 min). The Cannes-winning “Gomorrah”-director adapts three stories from 17th-century Neapolitan scribe Giambattista Basile’s “Pentamerone,” which predates and even inspired many of the classics in heavy rotation today, from Rapunzel to Cinderella. Grimm-like, grim and gorgeous, Garrone’s first English-language production is a fine reminder that fairy tales weren’t always only, you know, for kids.
4PM: DOCUMENTARY – For the last 40 years, the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. Wim Wenders’ THE SALT OF THE EARTH (2014, 110 min) is co-directed by the shutterbug’s docu-helmer son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. The film, which won at the 2014 Cannes film fest, guides the viewer on a visual odyssey through the photographer’s career, enriched by Wenders’ monochrome footage and Juliano’s color. Salgado proves an adept and compassionate storyteller, his training as an economist providing sociopolitical insight into the suffering (manmade rather than natural) that threatens to engulf his work.
7PM: DOCUMENTARY – Sex with a virgin girl can be worth as much as 1200 USD to an Asian man. Srey Leak (16), Me Nea (17) and Cheata (17) are Cambodian victims of the so-called “virginity trade”. They met as karaoke girls at the ‘Soul’ club in Phnom Penh. THE GIRLS OF PHNOM PENH (2009, 64 min) tells the story of their incredible friendship, which offers each a very simple form of support as they struggle with balancing their childhood dreams and teenage expectations of life with the very adult lives they lead by night. Matthew Watson’s excellent film features an original score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.
8.15PM: GERMAN TV SERIES – TATORT is a long-running German, Austrian and Swiss crime television series set in various of these countries. The first episode was broadcast on November 29, 1970. The opening sequence for the series has remained the same throughout the decades, which remains highly unusual for any such long-running TV series up to date. Each of the regional TV channels produces its own episodes, starring its own police inspector (or team of inspectors), some of them have become cultural icons.
#37, Sothearos Blvd.
Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia