RAM Film Talk | Societal Documentaries: The Filmmaking Strategies behind Them
Feb 15, 2020 Saturday 18:30 - 21:00
Shanghai Study Centre, The University of Hong Kong (298 North Suzhou Road)
The film A Cambodian Spring opens with the Boeung Kak Lake development project of 2007, as its five chapters explore the conflict between democratic movements and the state government in Cambodia’s progress towards modernization, spanning a time period of eight years. From small lake protests to street altercations, the film is presented as an ever-rising crescendo, demonstrating the awakening of political consciousness among the Cambodian people under strict government rule, and brings a fresh spring breeze to a country that is exposed to intense summer heat all year round. In addition to hand-recorded scenes of demonstrations which bring 4viewers right into the protests, the film focuses on the leaders of the movement, which include Tep Vanny, female representative and former resident of the Boeung Kak Lake area, as well as Buddhist monk Luon Sovath, who has risen to the forefront of the movement. Vanny’s transformation from a woman forced to stand up for her rights to an active protester is shown in the film, as well as Sovath’s “religious activism”, where the ancient, hermetic religion of Buddhism is transformed into a crucial stepping stone in the path towards modernization. The serenity and devotion characteristic of the religion are what make Cambodia’s journey towards democracy distinct from other regions. Whether intentional or not, the film is similar to a documentary in that it maintains the role of “observer” even in the most profound moments of the protests, and yet also amasses strength for the movement in its tiniest of observations.... Read More
ZHOU Jiali, Master’s graduate in Film Studies from the University of Sydney, PhD graduate in Communication from East China Normal University. Teaches at the School of Film and Animation at China Academy of Art, and is director of events of the West Lake International Documentary Festival. Author of books Audiovisual Language, West Lake International Documentary Festival: Case Documents, and The Appearance of Two Aspects — Research on Gilles Deleuze’s Film Theory.
Free admission, reservation is required.