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Film Studies: National Cinemas

This guide highlights selected resources for various national cinemas.

Introduction to Cambodian cinema

The years immediately following independence from French colonial rule in 1953 are often referred to as the golden age of Cambodian cinema, with over 350 films made between 1960 and 1975 (see asia, film in). Key works from this period include Puthysen Neang Kong Rey/12 Sisters (Ly Bun Yim, 1968) and Puos Keng Kang/The Snake Man (Tea Lim Koun, 1972). A key figure was Prince Norodom Sihanouk who directed a number of popular romantic melodramas, including Apsara (1966), Ombre Sur Angkor/Shadow on Angkor (1967), and Rose de Bokor (1969). Tith Vichara Dany, a popular actress, starred in over a hundred films. Cinemas in the big cities, especially Pnom Penh, screened Cambodian films alongside films from Thailand, Hong Kong, India, France and the US. During the rise to power and dictatorship of Pol Pot, a small number of Khmer Rouge propaganda films were produced with Chinese technical aid but the film industry was effectively destroyed, with a large number of filmmakers killed, imprisoned, or forced into exile. In the period following the overthrow of Pol Pot in 1979 film production resumed and the film exhibition infrastructure was rebuilt. Films from Europe, the US, and Hong Kong were subject to bans and/or strict censorship, with the majority of imports coming from Vietnam, the USSR, the Socialist bloc of Eastern Europe, and occasionally from India (see socialist realism).

[Source: Kuhn, A., & Westwell, G. (2020). Cambodia, film in. In A Dictionary of Film Studies. : Oxford University Press. Retrieved 9 Mar. 2021]

In the library's collections/Searching the online catalog

Selected book titles

Other library resource(s)

Finding scholarly articles and journal titles

You can find articles about Cambodian cinema in a variety of publications. You can use Film & Television Literature Index, Web of Science or the search box at the top of the page.

Selected movie titles

Internet resource(s)

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