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Paper cannot wrap up embers




A film by Rithy Panh


Running time  90′    


A face illuminated by red light… • Why don’t you go back to the village now? • I don’t want to… I’m ashamed. • No-one knows what has happened to you. If you like, I’ll help you… Go back to the village. • No. I’m ashamed. No-one knows what I do here in Phnom Penh. But I know. • I’d like to make a film about your life, a portrait of you. The film is situated as close as one can get to the life – and thus the spiritual death – of a prostitute. The ultimate social decay ends with the irreparable injustice of a process that cannot be reversed: the destruction of a body. For me this is a stand I have to make, an attempt to make amends. Going back over my inability to react when I was faced with something intolerable. This film project stems from there. For me, distress is intermingled with anger. I have a grudge against the people who go to see the “tarts“, the people who sell their children, the 1500 non-governmental organisations that are there to help Cambodia in its development, the Apronuc and its blue helmets who have brought AIDS with them, the indifference, the grinding poverty, the people whose consciences are clear. And so the film will resemble this rage, fragmented, and with a cutting edge like that of the shattered debris of a dream.

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