The Cambodian Room - Situations with Antoine D'Agata

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

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.

IDFA 2015 Line-Up Announced October 9, 2015 | The complete list of selected films for IDFA 2015, in alphabetical order, is now online. The full screening schedule will be available from November 5.
Looking at documentary sound October 6, 2015 | Sound in the documentary will be the central theme of the Sounds Real program. IDFA has invited five international sound designers to choose two documentaries with exceptional sound design: one of their own, and one by a colleague.
Opening film: A Family Affair by Tom Fassaert September 22, 2015 | The 28th edition of IDFA will open with A Family Affair by Dutch director Tom Fassaert, an exploration of the director's own delicate family history.


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