Message from His Majesty
Norodom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia
to the 5th Festival Mondival de la Video

Brussels, 1995

"Ladies and Gentlemen:

My love for film dates back to the 30's when I was a student at the French Lycee of Saigon (South Vietnam).

In Saigon, there were beautiful movie theaters which projected excellent French films and American Hollywood films. I was captivated by the films starring Jean Gabin, Clark Gable, Greta Garbo…After completing my studies in Saigon, I wanted to become a film maker and even an actor, and at the same time a Professor of French, Latin and Greek in a high school in my country.

After becoming King of Cambodia in 1941, I had the means to produce films.

I love film making, just as the famous Winston Churchill loved painting.

But, as an admirer of Churchill, I always followed his noble example: my "hobby" never took up any of the time I was to devote to State affairs and to the service of my country and my people.

Furthermore, I never thought of film-making as a simple amusement or artistic activity.

I wanted, and still want, to show my country, its past and contemporary history, its culture, its people, and express my feelings regarding certain facets of our nation's life.

A painter, a sculptor, a composer wants to express his feelings in his works.

I inherited from my father a love for music and musical compositions. And I, in my turn, compose the music of most of my films.

Each of my films develops a particular theme. The love story in each film merely plays the role of a "guide": it makes the audience take an interest in Cambodia in its culture, its problems, the virtues of the "little people", the faults or weaknesses of other more fortunate fellow countrymen… In this respect, purely documentary films are more rebarbative than so-called fiction films.

The star of my films is never an actor: it is (always) CAMBODIA."

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