Cambodian vérité

Daniel Mattes

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From left to right: Ines Sothea, Kavich Neang, Lim Heng. Photograph: John Vink

Arriving on the packed red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, the actors could hear their names announced over the speakers: distinctively Khmer names uttered with a French accent; cameras flashing and photographers jostling all around. Director Davy Chou recalls, “It was an out of body experience. What was magical for me was ‘Let’s go, our turn, let’s go’ and then after just thirty seconds of taking photographs, the actors felt comfortable, like real stars. Aza, the actress, she was very natural posing for the photos, smiling very quickly.”

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