I hated Rithy Panh when i first saw the poster of “Un soir après la guerre” in Paris. It was completely disturbing me when i saw people buying the ticket and see a sad movie from my country.
since that day, there is no strange for me when i see people crying in the cinema. i saw a Chinese woman, who sat in front of me, crying when she saw the Hong Kong high way in a Wong Kar-wai film. it’s the nostalgy that she couldn’t handle it. i gues she missed Hong Kong, her hometown.
i think i also wrote an email to him, i mentioned that we also have a good story about Cambodia to film about, not only and always the genocide. i am not sure if he read it or not. but one day i got a contact from a French scriptwriter and she said Rithy Panh introduce me to her.
he knows and he understand my intention,
when he finished S-21: the Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, i clearly can understand what he was trying to say. i can feel those crimes hurt him more than anyone else and that’s why he spent all his time to try to understand why people kill people and who will be the responsible for those crimes? beside the movie, he created the Audiovisual Center Bophana, where we could find everything about genocide and people will not forget what happened in Cambodia.
when he finished “S-21: the Khmer Rouge Killing Machine”, i guess he might say to himself he did it. he did the essential work to Cambodian people. if one day you want to understand about genocide, you can watch “S-21: the Khmer Rouge Killing Machine” or go to Bophana Center.
he did what he wanted to do since long time and it’s well done. i could see in “The Burnt Theatre”, which he filmed after he finished the hardest one, he played a lot of comedy 🙂
now he moved from Documentary to Fiction, “Un barrage contre le Pacifique”, his latest film is an adaptation from the book on the same name, which tells a story about French family who lived in Indochina in 1930s.
the film was totally shot in Ream, Sihanouville, Cambodia on November and December 2007 and was recently released in France January 2009. it’s good to see the rice field again but with a deep love story. most of the cast was French actors and actress and joined by the famous French actress Isabelle Huppert (The Piano).
“Un barrage contre le Pacifique” or “The Sea Wall” is set in Indochina, 1931. In the Gulf of Siam, a middle-aged mother is struggling to get by with her two children, Joseph and Suzanne, who are 20 and 16 respectively. She has invested her entire fortune in a piece of land which is regularly flooded and therefore impossible to cultivate. Her only hope is to build a sea wall to keep the waters at bay, and she devotes herself to this mad scheme.
There is some trailer and interview that you can find more about the movie from the few links below:
Official Website of Un barrage contre le Pacifique
Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh
Image Source: Zimbio