“Lost Loves” – a true story in Cambodia



One shot from "Lost Loves"

One shot from "Lost Loves" / Source: Internet

This evening, I’ve spent my time watching a movie that I cannot wait until the following day to express some thoughts though tonight I have to review some lessons for tomorrow morning quiz.

Hearing its’ title, Lost Loves, at least some of you may imagine that the movie is about someone who lost people they love. Your guest is right!

“Lost Loves” is a feature film based on real life experience of the film producer’s wife Kauv Sotheary who is also star in a film as Amara.

The film start with an old woman standing near a pagoda recalls her past life in Khmer Rouge Regime. Then the movie take us to early April 1975 showing Amara living with her grandfather, brothers and children in a middle class family in Phnom Penh. Amara’s grandfather is a former Cambodian army general and her husband is a general in Lon Nol regime. Amara’s grandfather is asked by some high ranking officers to leave the country because they know that their soldiers cannot win against Khmer Rouge; however, he decides to stay in Phnom Penh with his family because he wants to keep his fame.

Khmer Rouge takes over Phnom Penh in 17 April, 1975, and happiness in Amara’s family starts shaking when Khmer Rouge soldiers kill government soldiers who guard her house and force her family to leave the house.

Members in her family start packing their belongings and leaving their house with a car that they cannot drive but pushing it forward since too many people leaving the city by walking on the street. They stop at a pagoda where lots of city people are told to stay there waiting for the top people to decide where they should go after being evicted. The follow day, her family departs the pagoda to a village already arranged by Angkar and on the way there, her grandfather is took to kill by Khmer Rouge soldiers because they will not let former high ranking officers alive.

Her family members are separated. Her little children have to stay with the other villagers’ children, her brother has to work and stay with men group, and her oldest daughters has to stay in youth group.

All of her family members have to struggle to survive but some of them leave her one after another because of different reasons including illness, and killing.

This movie not only shows the writer’s tragedy, but also reflects how society at that time looks like since most people in Pol Pot regime also face the same things of losing their relatives as Amara.

As a Cambodian film producer, Chhay Bora keep repeating that “we are not Hollywood” and he said the film was made on a very low budget.

“Our film crew and I didn’t stay in hotel or eat at any restaurant during the shooting because we have to think of the money we have,” said Chhay Bora at Bophana Center this evening after the film screening; adding that they cook their own foods and stay with villagers to save the budget.

Despite the fact that the movie was shot by Cambodian with a low budget, but I can say this achievement is great and deserves commendable from the audiences. You guest what! Some people including my friends burst into tears at some scenes during the screening and I think that they may feel pity for the actors.

So far, this film have been shown in some foreign film festival and Chhay Bora said he will fix some little point in the movie for an example, the song.

“Script, acting, directing, and location are very important points to consider if you want to produce a good film,” Chhay Bora told the audiences his experiences in producing Lost Loves.

By: Dara Saoyuth
22/02/2011
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About Saoyuth

A graduate in Media Management with experiences working as a reporter with local and international news institutions, a multimedia team leader and a TV Producer for a LIVE News Show. Currently, I am a freelance video maker and social media consultant.

Posted on February 22, 2011, in Commentary, Personal Interest/Experience and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hi saoyuth its been pleasant browsing your blog and just simply thought I would say bless you and wished I could write like that.

  2. Hi ! Thanks for the excellent review, i would like to watch this film, do you know how to get it? I’m khmer but i grow up in France. Thank you a lot!

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