The Cambodian Room - Situations with Antoine D'Agata

Giuseppe Schillaci, Tommaso Lusena, France / Italy, 2009, color / black and white, video, 55'
Synopsis

Magnum photographer Antoine D'Agata has gotten a little too intimate with the subject of his photo series. In order to get to know the seamy side of Cambodia, he goes to "the end of the end." In Phnom Penh, he moves in with a drug-addicted prostitute named Lee, who does not only allow D'Agata to photograph her, but shares her crack pipe and her bed with him as well. When she asks him what he really wants from her, he admits that he hopes the pictures will earn him money. D'Agata has been throwing himself into projects like this for 20 years now, despite the fact that he is blind in his right eye and myopic in his left. This has not stood in the way of his career as a photographer of the subclass. On the contrary, "It's the darkness that brought me up." The film camera employs a similar observational yet alienating style, following the couple from up close while they spend weeks in a stuffy room, in voluntary confinement. The claustrophobic atmosphere of this documentary debut is interspersed with gruesome street shots and uncompromising photos by D'Agata, who has increasing doubts about his profession as a photographer. Journalist Philippe Azoury is worried and comes for a visit, forcing D'Agata to question his unorthodox working method. Together, they discuss the emotional life that underlies the photographer's work.

Wanted: Youth Jury! September 30, 2014 | Every year, a selection of films from the IDFA program compete for the IDFA DOC U Award, given out by a youth jury. Do you want to have a say about the winner, and are you between 15 and 18 years old? Then apply now!
IDFA 2014 presents theme program Of Media and Men September 23, 2014 | A theme program investigating the mediated interaction between the people and their governments will be presented at IDFA 2014. Of Media and Men encompasses a film program, several new media projects in IDFA DocLab and a Paradocs program curated by visual artist Aernout Mik.
In Memory of George Sluizer September 22, 2014 | With great sadness IDFA has learned of the death of Dutch cineast George Sluizer at the age of 82. Sluizer was a prominent voice in Dutch and international film culture, working both in documentary and in fiction.
IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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