Norodom Sihanouk, Roi-Cinéaste

The 'King-Father' as a filmmaker and composer.

Sihanouk Roi Cineaste Doc 1997

Published: 1997

Languages : English, French, Khmer

For some commentators, the fact that Norodom Sihanouk's activity as a filmmaker and a music composer peaked in 1968-1970, a time of increasing diplomatic and domestic challenges culminating with General Lon Nol's coup in March 1970, showed a lack of political awareness. For many others, it illustrates how artistic creativity was for him a way to warn his subjects of incoming trouble, and to explore the impending "twilight" (name of one his feature movies) threatening a country engulfed in the Vietnam War (which modern Vietnamese call 'the American War') in spite of its commitment to non-alignement.

This documentary offers many behind=the-scenes insights and a quite enlightened study in Prince Sihanouk and Princess Monique's psychology. Even if some sections feel excessively hagiographic, this is an interesting portrayal of how art can work as an outlet for a statesman's anguish, and a bullhorn conveying feelings that standard political discourse fails to express.

Production and running commentary: Frédéric Mitterrand (French Minister of Culture at that time).

Direction: Jean-Baptiste Martin.

Uploaded on YouTube by, Nov. 2022.

Photo: screen capture from the documentary.

Tags: cinema, movies, King Norodom Sihanouk, King Norodom Sihanouk Centennial Anniversary, Modern Cambodia