Friday, August 14, 2009

New movie about Cambodia: "Same Same But Different"

I just heard from one of our customers in Germany, Heike in Dusseldorf. There is a new movie about Cambodia opening in Germany in January. It's called "Same Same But Different" and you can see the movie's site here.

Heike tells me the movie is a German production, but made in Cambodia, which I think means it was filmed wholly in srok Khmer. She writes: "The story is about a young German boy (David Kross --- a very famous, good and young german actor) who backpacks through Cambodia and falls in live with a Cambodian girl. After a while he knows that she is HIV-positive. I don't know how the story ends. But I think that the movie will be very, very good."

"Same Same But Different" was scheduled to be shown at Cambodia's biannual National Cinema Festival this year, but the festival was cancelled. "It is not because we lack money. Rather, it is that we are lacking in productions, and the quality is still low," Som Sokun, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts told the Phnom Penh Post.

The producers of "Same Same But Different" had this to say: "The Boje Buck Production is convinced of all the human resources and the acting skills of Cambodian people and hope that soon the National Cinema Festival can be hold and that there are more Cambodian productions. We had a great time and just due to the great support of all Cambodian we could realize the movie."

Heike is excited because she recognises many of the places where the movie was filmed when she visited Cambodia a month or so ago. She asked me: "Do you know the old house with the open stairways in Phnom Penh? We loved the scene and took a picture of it." I don't know which old house Heike means but Phnom Penh is full of beautiful, old villas built during French colonial times.

Phnom Penh has great architecture which I learnt from my friend, Alison, an archeology PhD student living in Phnom Penh. Check out Alison's blog Alison in Cambodia. You can also do tours with Khmer Architecture Tours.

While in Phnom Penh, Heike visited our workshop and brought the women many gifts, including vanishing cream which the women loved. Heike started selling Bloom bags online but has recently secured a retail outlet in Dusselfdorf, which is exciting. (German customers please visit Heike's shop kleine-botschaft here).

I would love to visit Heike's shop one day. I dream also of visiting Berlin.

I like Germans - the ones I've met strike me as reflective, thoughtful people. I made a good friend, a young German photography student named Dorit, while backpacking in Europe about a decade ago. We met in Amsterdam where we hung out for about a week. One night we almost got locked out of our dorm which shuts its doors every night at midnight, because we were in the red light district.

Recently I tracked Dorit down on Facebook (through another Dorit who also comes from Stuttgart). Dorit is now a professional photographer who has exhibited her photographs. I am so glad her dream came true! I like Facebook for this reason - imagine meeting someone you spent only a week with in a strange country and then hook up a decade later to find that we are still the same people living or pursuing the dreams we once shared with each other.

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