THE LAST REEL | ដុំហ្វីលចុងកាាយ
New York Premiere
Running Time: 106 minutes
Language: Khmer with English subtitles
Director: Kulikar Sotho
Cast: Kulikar Sotho
Showtimes: Sunday, July 5, 8:15pm at Walter Reade Theatre
Part of the recent trend of films (Golden Slumbers, The Missing Picture, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten) using Cambodia’s pop cultural/filmmaking past to comment on both the devastation wrought by the Khmer Rouge, and the power of storytelling, the The Last Reel is a powerful meditation on the preservation of memory and the catharsis of the archive. Anchored by Ma Rynet’s superb performance as Sophoun – a young girl rebelling against her conservative army father Bora’s (Hun Sophy) marriage plans, hanging out with a local gang leader, and dealing with her mother Srey Mom’s (the powerful Dy Saveth) failing health. Ma holds the multiple emotional threads of each character together through the film. Ducking into an old theater to avoid a rival motorcycle gang, she is enthralled by an old film from before the civil war that stars her mother. The theater owner, Sokha (Sok Sothun) an actor from the film, pines for Srey and has lovingly preserved the film, even with the missing final reel. Sophoun becomes determined to finish the film but the ghosts of the past are hard to bury, and the secrets of Srey, Sokha, and Bora are pulled into the present.
Due to forces beyond the festival’s control director Kulikar Sotho will no longer be attending the screening.