Backstory - Cambodia’s artistic renaissance

One of my enduring memories of this trip will be the visit to the Film Archive in Phnom Penh. It was locked the first and second time I visited but the third time, there was a guard there who generously let me wander around. He was so proud of his job, and the space -- which contained thousands of reels of film and hundreds of 1980s vintage film posters from the USSR. In almost every room the air-conditioning was broken and most of the film seemed to be ruined. There was a heavy stench of fixing chemicals in the air. The posters were also rotting in the humidity. Bats flew from room to room. It was hauntingly sad, yet beautiful.

I love Phnom Penh and the Cambodian people are wonderfully hospitable. It is always a joy to come here and film. Everybody I met was eager to go out of their way to help with this shoot… and after every interview I left with another string of people I should contact and ideas to follow up. The biggest obstacle with this story was not having enough time. And not dropping my camera and all the loose gear while bumping along the city’s roads on the back of tuk-tuk.