Mekong Interior

German Premiere

Screenings: Saturday, March 25, 2006, 22:30 and Sunday, March 26, 2006, 12:30 (SOUR)


Country of Origin: France
Year of Production: 2003
Duration: 33’43“
Category: Fiction

Director: Vanessa Ly
Screenplay: Vanessa Ly
Cinematographer: Gerald Forster
Editor: Selby Siegel
Music: Dave Soldier
Producer: Vanessa Ly, Gerald Forster
Cast: Freddy Ly, Dominique Ly

Synopsis: The story of Mekong Interior covers a period of several days during a visit to Cambodia by a French couple designated as He and She. He is Cambodian on his father’s side, and this visit marks his first trip to Cambodia, which his father left, never to return, during the 1960s. The son is curious to search out what traces still exist of his ancestral heritage. The woman accompanies him as a tourist, and we join them during the first days of their sojourn in Cambodia, seeing them as they visit the temples of Angkor Wat, stroll through the streets and dine out in the restaurants of Siem Reap, and pass the time at their hotel. Immediately we can see that there is a profound tension in their relationship. For his part, the trip to Cambodia is turning into a deeply disappointing experience as he is frustrated in his attempts to find the lost traces of his family, and must deal with the growing awareness that there is in reality nothing for him in Cambodia. She on the other hand, unburdened by inherited memories, is enjoying her time there, experiencing the unfamiliar and exotic elements of its culture – the people, the climate, the food, the colors – in a much more direct and immediate way; she impresses us as open and receptive to this new environment, in contrast to his increasing introspection and withdrawal. The tension between them is played out to the point of a decisive rupture in their relationship, after which she returns to France on her own while he stays on in Cambodia alone, discovering at last an evanescent trace of his ancient patrimony.

Festivals & Awards: Rotterdam International Film Festival 2004, Bangkok International Film Festival 2004 (Winner of the Overall Short Film Award / Jameson Short Film Award), Edinburgh International Film Festival 2004, New York Asian American Film Festival 2004, San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival 2004, Visual Communications Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival 2004, Festival de Pantin Côté Court Paris 2004, Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films 2003, Washington DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival 2004, Sofia International Film Festival 2005, Festival du Court Métrage de Bruxelles 2005, Message to Man International Film Festival St. Petersburg 2005, Festival de Curtas Metragens de Vila Do Conde Porto 2005, Drama International Short Film Festival Greece 2005, Stockholm International Film Festival 2005, In Curt Tarragona Film Festival 2005