Golden Slumbers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 March, 2012, 12:00am


As films about marginalised national film industries go, Golden Slumbers probably ranks as the most poignant of them all. French-Cambodian director Davy Chou's documentary pays homage to a legacy which has disappeared from view - literally - as nearly all the films made during Cambodia's cinematic heyday of the 1960s and early '70s were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge regime.

The producers featured in Chou's documentary speak of only having a few photographs to prove to their grandchildren that there was once a bustling film industry.

The grandson of producer Van Chann, Chou was the prime mover behind Golden Reawakening, a 2009 film festival and exhibition that looked at Cambodian cinema before Pol Pot and his henchmen decimated the country's cultural legacy with their murderous, fundamentalist doctrine.

Golden Slumbers is a summary of that project. Chou tracks down producers, directors and actors from that era and listens to their recollections. The descendants of these one-time media moguls were not aware of their connections to that golden era of filmmaking. Chou's film ensured that they found out - and that cinephiles around the world know of Cambodian cinema's long-faded golden era as well.

Golden Slumbers, Fri, 9.45pm, Space Museum; Apr 3, 12.30pm, HK Arts Centre. Part of the Hong Kong International Film Festival