Saturday, September 25, 2004

VIFF

My dedication to the film fest has already started to waiver. I went to see two films the first night, but yesterday i didn't see any and today i am not seeing any. Hopefully i will be able to pick it up again for tomorrow, but, you know, sometimes other stuff just gets in the way.

So first up, i went to see The People of Angkor, a French/Cambodian effort to give insight into the lives of those that live in the shaodws of the famous Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia. The thing that makes this movie distinct from anything else you've ever seen on Angkor is that it is about PEOPLE, not the place. The film takes on a distinctly anthroplogic/ ethnographic perspective in telling the stories of a labourer involved in the reconstruction of parts of Angkor, a paddy farmer in the vicintiyt and a young 'tour guide' trying to make a buck selling souvenirs to tourists. Some of the most interesting scenes involve debates over the interpretation of various sculptures. The tour guide gives an upbeat interpretation that delight German and American tourists, whereas the farmer sees it as a story of oppression. For the most part the doc is shot in the unihabited areas of Angkor, though scenes ot the main temple and tourist throngs are interspersed throughout so that you never forget the significance of Angkor in the national imaginary of Cambodia.

The second movies i saw was Beatiful Boxer, a Thai film based (and i stress 'based') on the life of boxer Nong Toom as a self made woman. That's right, Toom was a boy boxer, fighting his way to the top until he had enough money for a sex change operation. The film was beautifully shot, particularly the opening sequence and training sessions, but as with all 'sports' movies, there was a little too much sport in it. The lead's acting was inpecable, especially since this is his first stab at it. My only criticism of the movie was that it was soft on the harsh realities of being transgendered in the hyper male environment that is the world of boxing. Overall, it was light, funny and feel good.

4 Comments:

Blogger Akshay said...

I have watched The People of Angkor , a great insight into Cambodia and the people who live around the temple complex of Angkor Wat . Great Blog BTW

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