Young filmmakers train a fresh lens on turbulent Cambodia

Phnom Penh – When Kavich Neang learned that Cambodian authorities were going to knock down the storied apartment building where he’d been raised and replace it with luxury condos, the young filmmaker’s first thought was to grab a video camera.

“I just wanted to capture what my family and everyone else was feeling,” Neang said. “I had always thought I would shoot a fiction film there. But now I just wanted to have some memory of the place.”

With a borrowed camera, Neang shot for five weeks inside Phnom Penh’s decaying White Building as the wrecking ball loomed in 2017, recording his parents and neighbors as they packed their belongings, pleaded with officials for fair compensation and fretted about an uncertain future in the fast-changing Cambodian capital.

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