Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers

Cambodian-born helmer's "Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers" can be viewed as a docu-to-drama transitional step. Again returning to his native land, Panh focuses on prostitutes living in one dilapidated Phnom Penn building.

With:
With: Kim Thida, Kim Phirom, Kim Sareth, Marady, Kauv Aun, Mom, Chantrea, Srey Aun, Neang Phanna, Meas Chandry.

With Rithy Panh’s next project announced as a Marguerite Duras-derived drama starring Isabelle Huppert, the Paris-based, Cambodian-born helmer’s “Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers” can be viewed as a docu-to-drama transitional step. Again returning to his native land, Panh focuses on prostitutes living in one dilapidated Phnom Penn building. Visual polish and rehearsed-sounding exchanges among participants (presumably real-life sex workers) seemingly oblivious to the camera make pic seem more a slice of poetically staged life than verite. Highly specialized item will appeal to select broadcasters; an hourlong version also exists.

Despite occasional levity, the protags — who seem to have no future and barely have a present — leave a despairing impression. They lament the home villages they’re too ashamed to return to, abusive clients and madams, paltry pay, past abortions and so on. One “older” woman (at 34) has seen four of six children die (and a fifth stolen), and the low-end tricks she turns barely buy her a bowl of rice per day. Another is dying of AIDS, with no money for meds. Panh’s approach holds attention, but also has a certain stilted, dirge-like monotony.

Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers

France

Production: A CDP, Ina production, in association with France 3, France 5, Sundance Channel. (International sales: Catherine Dussart Prods., Paris.) Produced by Christophe Barreyre, Gerard Collas. Executive producer, Catherine Dussart. Directed by Rithy Panh.

Crew: Camera (color, video), Prum Mesar; editor, Marie-Christine Rougerie; music, Mark Marder. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, March 24, 2008. (In San Francisco Asian-American Film Festival -- Documentary Showcase.) Khmer dialogue. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Kim Thida, Kim Phirom, Kim Sareth, Marady, Kauv Aun, Mom, Chantrea, Srey Aun, Neang Phanna, Meas Chandry.

More Film

  • Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie

    Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie to Reunite in 'Point Blank' Remake

    With Rithy Panh’s next project announced as a Marguerite Duras-derived drama starring Isabelle Huppert, the Paris-based, Cambodian-born helmer’s “Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers” can be viewed as a docu-to-drama transitional step. Again returning to his native land, Panh focuses on prostitutes living in one dilapidated Phnom Penn building. Visual polish and rehearsed-sounding exchanges among participants […]

  • Universal Music Restoration

    Universal Launches Music Restoration Program, New Soundtrack Imprint (EXCLUSIVE)

    With Rithy Panh’s next project announced as a Marguerite Duras-derived drama starring Isabelle Huppert, the Paris-based, Cambodian-born helmer’s “Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers” can be viewed as a docu-to-drama transitional step. Again returning to his native land, Panh focuses on prostitutes living in one dilapidated Phnom Penn building. Visual polish and rehearsed-sounding exchanges among participants […]

  • Ingmar Bergman 100th Birthday Anniversary.

    Ingmar Bergman's Centennial: A Time to Celebrate Joy of Filmmaking

    With Rithy Panh’s next project announced as a Marguerite Duras-derived drama starring Isabelle Huppert, the Paris-based, Cambodian-born helmer’s “Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers” can be viewed as a docu-to-drama transitional step. Again returning to his native land, Panh focuses on prostitutes living in one dilapidated Phnom Penn building. Visual polish and rehearsed-sounding exchanges among participants […]

  • CAA Promotes Eric Schonberg to Agent

    CAA Promotes Eric Schonberg to Agent

    With Rithy Panh’s next project announced as a Marguerite Duras-derived drama starring Isabelle Huppert, the Paris-based, Cambodian-born helmer’s “Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers” can be viewed as a docu-to-drama transitional step. Again returning to his native land, Panh focuses on prostitutes living in one dilapidated Phnom Penn building. Visual polish and rehearsed-sounding exchanges among participants […]

  • The Indoraptor prepares to strike in

    Box Office: 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' Stomps to $15.3 Million on Thursday Night

    With Rithy Panh’s next project announced as a Marguerite Duras-derived drama starring Isabelle Huppert, the Paris-based, Cambodian-born helmer’s “Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers” can be viewed as a docu-to-drama transitional step. Again returning to his native land, Panh focuses on prostitutes living in one dilapidated Phnom Penn building. Visual polish and rehearsed-sounding exchanges among participants […]

  • Sinemia Introduces Family Plans, Challenging MoviePass

    Movie Ticketing Service Sinemia Introduces Family Plans

    With Rithy Panh’s next project announced as a Marguerite Duras-derived drama starring Isabelle Huppert, the Paris-based, Cambodian-born helmer’s “Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers” can be viewed as a docu-to-drama transitional step. Again returning to his native land, Panh focuses on prostitutes living in one dilapidated Phnom Penn building. Visual polish and rehearsed-sounding exchanges among participants […]

  • Longtime Disney Executive Mark Endemano Steps

    Longtime Disney Executive Mark Endemano Steps Down

    With Rithy Panh’s next project announced as a Marguerite Duras-derived drama starring Isabelle Huppert, the Paris-based, Cambodian-born helmer’s “Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers” can be viewed as a docu-to-drama transitional step. Again returning to his native land, Panh focuses on prostitutes living in one dilapidated Phnom Penn building. Visual polish and rehearsed-sounding exchanges among participants […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content