02 Dec 2013
META HOUSE - #37, Sothearos Blvd.
4PM: Sydney Schanberg is a New York Times journalist covering the civil war in Cambodia. Together with local representative Dith Pran, they cover some of the tragedy and madness of the war. When the American forces leave, Dith Pran sends his family with them, but stays behind himself to help Schanberg cover the event. As an American, Schanberg won't have any trouble leaving the country, but the situation is different for Pran; he's a local, and the Khmer Rouge are moving in. This story is told in the Hollywood classic THE KILLING FIELDS by Roland Joffé (1984, 143 min).
7PM: As the Muslim religion grows in popularity in Indonesia, a growing number of men use the faith as a justification to embrace polygamy, often over the objection of their initial wives. Nia Dinata’s feature film LOVE FOR SHARE (2006, 120 min) is a post-New-Order Indonesian film that explores various aspects of polygamy from the wives' point of view. The script presents three different stories about three different situations and does so in a sort of black comedy or satiric way. Although Nia's own political stance on men who practice polygamy emerges by the end of the story, it never supersedes the task at hand -- providing a strong basis for the creation of a very compelling and entertaining film.
4PM: In Cambodia the number of landless has doubled over the last 5 years. 150,000 people are at risk of an eviction. Nana Yuriko’s docu CAMBODIA FOR SALE (2009, 60 mins, Engl. subs) focuses on affected communities.
7PM: A provocative social experiment-turned-documentary, KUMARE (2012, 84 min) follows American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he transforms himself into a wise Indian guru, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Instead, he finds himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life -- and wondering if and when to reveal his true self. Will his followers accept his final teaching? Can this illusion reveal a greater spiritual truth? Winner of South by Southwest's Audience Award, Kumare is an insightful look at faith and belief.
9PM: The youngest foot soldiers for the Lord are shown in their native environment in the documentary JESUS CAMP (2006, 87 min) by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Becky Fischer is a children's pastor who runs "Kids on Fire," a summer camp for evangelical Christian children in North Dakota. Fischer believes in the political and moral importance of a Christian presence in America, and uses her camp to reinforce the religious training most of her charges are already receiving at home (the majority of the campers are home-schooled by their parents). Using video games, animated videos, and group activities to help put her message across, Fischer encourages the kids to pray for George W. Bush and his Supreme Court appointees while urging them to help "take back America for Christ." For the most part, the children seem reasonably ordinary beyond the fact they pray with uncommon fervor and sometimes speak in tongues. Along with Fischer and her cohorts, Jesus Camp features interviews with Ted Haggard, an evangelist and advisor to George W. Bush, and Mike Papantonio, a Christian talk-show host who believes the right-wing slant of many Christian evangelists is taking the church into a dangerous direction.
4PM: SLEEPWALKING THROUGH THE MEKONG (2007, 90 min) follows L.A. based band “Dengue Fever” on their journey to the country that inspired their love for 1960s Khmer rock.
7PM: New Zealand director Stanley Harper has worked with Roman Polanski and the late Sir John Gielgud. His stunning docu CAMBODIA DREAMS (2007, 89 min, Khmer/Engl. subs) took him 18 years to complete. It chronicles the parallel lives of one Cambodian family, half of whom went to a Thai refugee camp, while the other half stayed in their home village.
9PM: MEA MAXIMA CULPA: SILENCE IN THE HOUSE OF GOD (2012, 106 min), Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney examines the abuse of power in the Catholic Church through the story of four courageous deaf men, who in the first known case of public protest, set out to expose the priest who abused them. Through their case the film follows a cover-up that winds its way from the row houses of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, through the bare ruined choirs of Ireland's churches, all the way to the highest office of the Vatican.
4PM: Born in a Thai refugee camp, Socheata Poeuv travels to Cambodia to unravel the mystery shrouding her family's survival, for her docu NEW YEAR BABY (2006, 74min, Engl. subs).
7PM: Many Asian men believe that obtaining a virgin girl for sex will grant them extra health and luck. M. Watson’s docu is the compelling account of the lives of girls affected by the so-called VIRGINITY TRADE (2009, 60 mins, Khmer/Engl. subs) in Cambodia. GIRLS OF PHNOM PENH (2009, 64 mins, Khmer/Engl. subs) follows three victims. Original soundtrack by Nick Cave.
9.15PM: Director Keven McAlester’s profiles the founding father of psychedelic music Roky Erikson for his documentary YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME (94 min, 2005). It is an intimate look at the life and career of the legendary 13th Floor Elevators frontman. Erikson’s voice was powerful enough to start a musical revolution, but the noise in his head would ultimately prove too overwhelming to ignore. A rock & roll icon whose epic heroin and LSD binges preceded a devastating battle with schizophrenia, Erickson gradually withdrew from the music scene while growing increasingly obsessed with religion. Now, as the 53-year-old Erickson sits in his apartment just outside of Austin, TX, listening to multiple television, radios, scanners, and electric keyboards, fans can finally find out just what ever happend to the man who became one of rock & roll's greatest mysteries.
4PM: Filmed in 1969 on Bokor mountain amongst other scenic Cambodian locations, Sihanouk’s classic feature ROSE OF BOKOR (1969, 70 mins, Engl. subs) is set amidst the triangle of French and Japanese control and the growing seeds of Khmer independence.
7PM: Detlev Buck’s moving feature film SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT (2009, 107min) is based on a memoir by journalist Benjamin Pruefer, who fell in love with an HIV-positive prostitute in Phnom Penh.
9PM: HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE (2012, 109 min) is the story of two coalitions-ACT UP and TAG (Treatment Action Group)-whose activism and innovation turned AIDS from a death sentence into a manageable condition. Despite having no scientific training, these self-made activists infiltrated the pharmaceutical industry and helped identify promising new drugs, moving them from experimental trials to patients in record time. With unfettered access to a treasure trove of never-before-seen archival footage from the 1980s and'90s, filmmaker David France puts the viewer smack in the middle of the controversial actions, the heated meetings, the heartbreaking failures, and the exultant breakthroughs of heroes in the making.