Cambodian Cinema: Rising from the Ashes

September 24–October 6, 2023

This series focuses on the especially challenging situation of film preservation in Cambodia, a country whose cultural heritage was ravaged by the Pol Pot regime of genocide and destruction in the 1970s. Thanks to the efforts of filmmaker Rithy Panh, who cofounded the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center in 2005, there is a sense of renewal and important work being done by archivists, industry professionals, and young filmmakers documenting Cambodian life today and telling individuals’ stories.

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  • White Building

  • Golden Slumbers, Courtesy of Icarus Films

  • Bophana: Shadows and Lights

  • Bophana: A Cambodian Tragedy

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Films

  • Cambodia: Developing the Next Generation of Filmmakers

    • Friday, October 6 3:30 PM

    A program of short films generated by training initiatives at the Bophana Center as well as a discussion of the institution's developmental role in fostering a new generation of Cambodian filmmakers. Executive Director Sopheap Chea is in conversation with Stephen Gong from the Center for Asian American Media.

    Sopheap Chea and Stephen Gong in Conversation

  • Golden Slumbers

    • Thursday, October 5 7 PM
    Davy Chou
    Cambodia, France, 2011

    Between the early 1960s and 1975, Cambodia was home to a vibrant film industry that produced more than four hundred features. When the Khmer Rouge seized control of the country, it halted production, demolishing the industry along with most of the rest of the country’s cultural life. Golden Slumbers resurrects this cinema’s heyday by using soundtracks, advertisements, posters, and lobby cards to re-create memories of a golden era.

    Introduced by Sopheap Chea

  • Bophana: A Cambodian Tragedy

    • Saturday, September 30 3:30 PM
    Rithy Panh
    France, Cambodia, 1996

    Rithy Panh’s sensitive attention to detail and skilled direction make Bophana: A Cambodian Tragedy a film of incredible power. His inquiry into the lives and deaths of Hout Bophana and Ly Sitha, a married couple who were casualties of the Pol Pot regime, personalizes the horror.

  • White Building

    • Sunday, September 24 5 PM
    • Saturday, September 30 5 PM
    Kavich Neang
    Cambodia, 2021

    Bay Area Premiere!

    Twentyish Samnang dreams of fame as a dancer and singer, yet the realities of day-to-day life constantly thwart his hopes for the future, specifically the looming destruction of the apartment complex where he and his family live. “White Building soars along on quiet moments thanks to Douglas Seok’s stunning cinematography” (Pat Padua, Spectrum Culture).