‘Karmalink’ Review: Past Lives and Future Dreams Collide in the First Sci-Fi Film Made in Cambodia

American director Jake Wachtel’s debut feature mixes Buddhism and AI to winning effect.

A book of dreams, teenagers searching for buried treasure and a quest to digitally manufacture spiritual enlightenment constitute the intriguing ingredients of “Karmalink,” a fresh and highly entertaining sci-fi mystery-adventure set in a near-future Phnom Penh. Driven by Buddhist concepts of karma and rebirth, and underscored by commentary on Cambodia’s past, present and potential future, this striking feature debut by U.S. filmmaker Jake Wachtel takes viewers on a fascinating and frequently wondrous expedition to a place where science and metaphysics intersect.

“Karmalink” should enjoy a strong festival run and broad VOD distribution following its world premiere at Venice Critics’ Week. It has theatrical potential, especially in regional markets with substantial Buddhist populations. U.S. and Cambodian release details are yet to be announced.

In full: https://variety.com/2021/film/reviews/karmalink-review-chiet-krawy-1235054335/

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