Cambodia, here I am
written and directed by Jean-Baptiste Phou
"Writing about Cambodia, here I am at the beginning of a personal journey, a need to give birth to this story, had no vocation to be shared. Everything accelerated in April 2010, when the text received a public reading at the Maison du Cambodge. A Parisian theater programmed it the following year, and the play was created in April 2011: four sold-out performances were given. One year later, the show was playing in several cities in France, and was still received with much emotion and enthusiasm.
And now, here is Cambodia, here I am in Cambodia. It's the fulfillment of a dream. A circle that has closed. The symbol is all the stronger, since the text will be played in Khmer, by a troupe of Khmer artists, before a Khmer audience.
How will the voice of exile be heard, the voices of these compatriots whose link with their country of origin was often broken, this generation born between multiple identities? In spite of the difficulty of the journey, perhaps we all seek, here or there, to move towards peace despite this chaotic past, to begin to reconstruct ourselves.
To bring about this re-creation, my interest has been mainly in the imbrications of cultures: the form is that of contemporary theater, which explores human nature through words and conflicts. Added to this are traditional elements such as dance, shadow theater, and music—in a mixture of genres both unsettling and bold. A first for this close French Cambodian collaboration."
Cambodian consulate in Paris, 2012. Four women meet and confront their stories and aspirations.
Sophea, 24 years-old. Her obsession: find her Cambodian roots. Sovandara, 32 years-old. She gave up her life to marry a French man she met in here homeland. Mom, 40 years-old. Survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime. Now divorced, she is determined to adopt a child in her country of origin. Metha, 56 years-old. She left before the fall of Phnom Penh. She has to go back to her native country to see her dying mother. This encounter will reveal their struggles, hopes, dreams and also amusing integration experiences.
With: Dy Saveth, Yim Nimolika, Pumtheara Chenda, Kauv Ly Yann, Sem Kosal
Translation: Sot Sovannary
Scene & Costume design: Fanny Gautreau
Lights: Angélique Bourcet
Choreography: Chumvan "Belle" Sodhachivy
Music: Ieng Sakkona
Technic: Neang Sa
Interpreter: Som Sophoan
Surtitles: Be Puch