1.Vietnamese culture In the light of the ancient culture and many centuries of history, costumes, rituals, traditions and spiritual practices, Vietnam is extremely rich and complex. To enumerate, the main religion is a branch of Buddhism called Mahayana, with many influences from Chinese culture, including Taoism and Confucianism. Besides that, Read more…
First of all, please click here and listen to a song while reading the article 🙂 So, now that we caught your attention (and that you have your ears filled with good music) let’s start! You may or may not know that this kingdom in the 60s was famous for its music. Local musicians were listening to what was happening in the Read more…
Cambodian Cinema - a brief introductionMany travelers probably don’t know but, before the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia had a thriving culture and movie industry. Hundreds of movies were fueling Phnom Penh’s vast amount of movie theaters, creating in the population a deep love for this art. It is still possible, in some cities of the Kingdom, to see what remains of the old movie theaters and their beautiful architecture. Stay tuned for a quick introduction to Cambodian cinema and its golden age!
Movie theatresTo know more about the movie theaters, check the Roung Kon project. It was formed by a group of local architecture students and graduates passionate about the 60's architecture. Considering the every increasing audience for the movies many venues have popped up in Phnom Penh. Most of them can be found around the Riverside are along street 13. To develop the newly-independant kingdom King Sihanouk appointed the famous architect Vann Molyvann. Consequently leading to the development of new Khmer architecture. In fact a mix of modern and traditional Cambodian aesthetic.
A guide from the Roung Kon project showing a old photo of the currently destroyed Phnom Penh Cinema.
History of cinema in CambodiaFocusing on the movies, the first Cambodian directors started working in the fifties, including Sun Bun Ly, Roeum Sophon and Leu Pannakar. But was just in the next decade that the industry boomed, with around 300 to 400 movies produced. It all happened from 1960 to 1975, when civil war stopped any cultural endeavors in the country. These years were the Golden Age of Cambodian cinema and arts. Even King Sihanouk was making movies, like the Rose of Bokor with Queen Mother Norodom Monineath. You can check his entire filmography here. Some of his movies are even available entirely on Youtube, such as Little Prince from 1967 and Twilight from 1969.
A photo inside the currently abandoned Cinestar Cinema - the first one in Phnom Penh and where the Royal Family used to go in the 60s.
Golden SlumbersThe best way to learn more about the Golden Age is to watch the celebrated documentary of Khmer-French director Davy Chou called Golden Slumbers. He is the grandson of Vann Chann, one of the main producers of the 60's Cambodian Film industry. During the Khmer Rouge soldiers killed most of the artists and intellectuals and as a result totally dismantling the Cambodian culture. The old movie posters, often painted by hand and with beautiful vintage quality, are a unique example of the culture of that era. A quick search on google retrieves some examples of this.
Present day situationComing back to the present, unfortunately most of these movie houses have already been destroyed or abandoned, for example Lux Cinema. In addition to the commercial movie theatres like Aeon Mall in Phnom Penh there are alternatives for Cambodian and International movies like -
If you want to know more about Cambodian movies of the last decades, here are some alternatives. Also find links to their trailers:(more…)
Traveling in far away cultures can occasionally be overwhelming and emotionally confusing. The time spent on the road unravels more clearly explaining the impact of the experiences we’ve been having in our own personal growth. Here we give some ideas for self-assessing your journey as a traveler and lifelong learner. Cambodia Read more…