Cambodia, Phnom Penh, a district where women sell their bodies, often abused by their clients or even their guards - we are meat given to tigers, says one of them. For most of the day, they sleep or hold long discussions about fear from diseases and violence. The director of the film perceives transformation of the body into goods as spiritual death and shoots the documentary as a requiem in which prostitutes become symbols of social disparities in a country that still has not managed to get rid of the sequels of Pol Pot’s tyranny.
Rithy Panh was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on the 18th April 1964. He is today one of the most acclaimed documentary filmmakers and the most famous Cambodian filmmaker worldwide. After 1975 his family died through the genocidal Khmer Rouge government while he could escape in 1979 to Thailand. Panh arrived a year later in Paris, France as an orphan and stayed. He later studied at 'La Fémis', the French National Cinema School. Panh created a unique body of work consisting of documentaries and feature films that mostly deal with the modern Cambodia and the traumatic legacy of the Khmer Rouge regime. His most famous documentary is probably The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003) about the infamous torture prison of the Khmer Rouge. Later his avant-garde documentary The Missing Picture (2013) became the first Cambodian film nominated for an Academy Award as 'Best Foreign Language Film'. Rithy Panh, along with director Ieu Pannakar, has developed 'Bophana: Audio Visual Resource Center - Cambodia', with an aim towards preserving the country's film, photographic and audio history.
Le Papier ne peut pas envelopper la braise
2006, 86', color, video
Gérald Collas, Catherine Dussat
CDP, Ina, Bophana Production, France 3, France 5
Festivals & Awards:
Shanghai Film Festival - main award