The German Embassy in Phnom Penh and the audiovisual center Meta House will jointly present a week-long film festival starting Monday, German Ambassador Frank Mann announced yesterday.
“A Week of German Film” will headline a flurry of events in Phnom Penh being held to mark the anniversary of several key dates in German history, including the ratification of the German Constitution in 1949 and the reunification of the country in 1990. Also next week, the embassy is sponsoring a celebration in honor of the German Constitution and an exhibition at Art Cafe on Street 108 about the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
“We take these anniversaries as a reason to reach out to the Cambodian public and invite them to celebrate together with us,” Mr Mann said at a news conference.
The film festival’s selections, which were curated by the Goethe-Institut, an international cultural organization funded by the German government, are intended to highlight a wide variety of cinema from the past 60 years of German history. They range from “The Trace of Stones,” a classic East German satire that was made in 1966 but banned until 1989, to “Toyland,” a 14-minute short from 2007 that deals with family life in the face of Nazism. The festival will also feature “The Lives of Others,” Florian
Henckel von Donnersmarck’s bleak, meditative debut film about a Stasi agent in 1980s East Berlin, which won the 2007 Academy Award for best foreign film.
“We hope these films provide a better understanding of Germany, German developments and recent German history to all those who come to see the films,” Mr Mann said. “But they are meant to be entertaining as well as educational.”
Meta House director Nico Mesterharm said the festival’s organizers hired a local company to dub three of the films into Khmer in order to better reach Cambodian audiences.
“So we hope we will find enough people who have an interest in German films in the Khmer language,” he said.
Admission to “A Week of German Film” is free.