The sounds and sights of the White Building are deeply etched in Kavich Neang’s memory. The shifting sounds of children running around the iconic building’s hallways and the daily chatter of neighbors discussing the happenings in their lives are part of a recurring dream. A dream that kept reminding Kavich Neang of the place he and his family called home.
It also forms the narrative core of his documentary, “Last Night I Saw You Smiling,” where the 31-year-old filmmaker documents the transformation of bustling building community into a silent demolition site, following the White Building’s flattening in 2017. The title of the documentary borrows from the lyrics of a Sin Sisamuth song.
“I couldn’t bare the feeling that everything that existed [in this building] would be completely gone,” Kavich Neang told VOA Khmer in a phone interview, from Phnom Penh, where he lives. “So as a filmmaker, I felt the need to film and document the last moments of my family and my neighbors packing and moving.”