Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2011 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project Golden Slumbers
Category Busan Bank Fund
Project Golden Slumbers
Director Davy CHOU
Country France, Cambodia
Director's Profile Davy Chou is a French director of Cambodian descent. He made his first film, [Davy Chou’s First Film] (10’) in 2007, followed by [Expired] (10’) in 2008, which was selected for the Belfort Film Festival. In 2009 he spent a year in Cambodia where he set up film workshops for young Cambodians in four schools. There, he researched the golden age of Cambodian cinema (1960-1975) and in October 2009 he put together the festival/exhibition ‘Golden Reawakening’ in Phnom Penh. [Golden Slumbers] is his first feature film.
Discover the unknown history of the birth and destruction of Cambodian cinema, from the first film ever made in 1960 to the arrival of the Khmers Rouge in 1975. In 15 years, some 400 films were produced. Only 30 films remain today. Almost all the actors were killed during the reign of Pol Pot and only a few of the directors were able to flee the country. Most of the old movie theaters of Phnom Penh have become restaurants, karaoke clubs or squats. [Golden Slumbers] tries to bring back to life the myths and legends of this lost cinema. With a few survivors telling their story, and as the film explores the remains of the era today in Phnom Penh, we discover how important movies were for everyone from that generation and how young people now interact with this heritage.
Director's Note
This project was born from the description I was given of the golden age of Cambodian cinema (1960 – 1975): ‘four hundred films produced in fifteen years, fifteen superstars’. I feel a sense of duty to a culture so horribly mutilated by history and threatened with oblivion. Most of the people who participated in this unique period of optimism and creativity have died and the few survivors are getting old. There are no significant written assessments of this period; its history is essentially oral. The film takes a sober and intimate form for the interviews and a spectacular and musical form when filming contemporary Cambodia, to give a sense of what used to be there: dreams, love and adventure.
Still Cut