Last Night I Saw You Smiling

Kavich Neang

  • Khmer (with English subtitles); 75 min

Last Night I Saw You Smiling - Kavich Neang

Cambodia, France, 2019, 75 min
  • Production: Anti Archive / Apsara Films / International Sales: Anti Archive

"You'd think a house is nothing but walls, windows and roof. But now we have to leave, it’s breaking my heart." Filmmaker Kavich Neang's father is one of the hundreds of residents who must leave the iconic White Building in Phnom Penh. This apartment block saw the rise and fall of the Khmer Rouge and then housed a lively artistic community. Now the once radiant walls are grey and damaged. Demolition looms.

Neang, who was born here, once dreamed of shooting a fiction film here, but reality overtook his plan. It’s now the location for his first full-length documentary. In calm, fixed shots, he registers the activities, worries and emotional moments of his parents and other residents who have to leave. It's reminiscent of the evacuation under Pol Pot, one woman remembers. "But now we have removal trucks." A singer sings a song in her empty room. When the demolition men come, this beautiful world is just a memory.