Last Night I Saw You Smiling



a film by Kavich Neang



UK Premiere:

Open City Docs Closing Night Film

10 September 2019

Winner: NETPAC Award

International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019



Residents of an iconic building face uncertain futures as demolition looms.

“We’re used to seeing a house for its roof, windows, and walls. But in the end, as we move out of here, it breaks my heart.” Filmmaker Kavich Neang’s father is one of the hundreds of residents who must leave the iconic White Building in Phnom Penh. This housing block bore witness to a tremendous series of events: the young nation’s Golden Age, a traumatic breakdown under a radical regime, decades of cultural revival centered within its walls, and the rapid pace of capitalist development that would ultimately lead to its demise. Now the once radiant walls are grey and damaged. Neang, born here in 1987 and raised within, once dreamed of shooting a fiction film here, but reality overtook his plan and it became the location for his first full-length documentary. As demolition looms, all becomes just a memory.

“I just wanted to capture what my family and everyone else was feeling… I had always thought I would shoot a fiction film there. But now I just want to have some memory of the place…”

– Kavich Neang, LA Times interview, 27 August 2019


Official Selections & Awards:

Locarno International Film Festival 2019

Jeonju International Film Festival 2019, Winner, Special Jury Prize

Cinéma du Réel 2019

International Film Festival Rotterdam 2019: Winner, NETPAC Award




Last Night I Saw You Smiling, Art As Common Property

essay for Open City Docs by May Adadol Ingawanij,

Professor of Cinematic Arts at the University of Westminster

and Co-director of Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM)



UK Premiere:

London – Open City Docs Closing Night Film: 10 Sep 2019


Further screenings tba



Directed by: Kavich Neang

Producers: Davy Chou, Daniel Mattes, Marine Arrighi de Casanova

Country of production: Cambodia/France

Year: 2019

Running time: 78 mins

Languages: Khmer + English subtitles


You might also be interested in:

Aperture: Asia & Pacific Film Festival:

Southeast Asian strand: 11-15 Sep 2019

London: Genesis Cinema, DocHouse, Close-Up Cinema, The Horse Hospital

including Panel Discussion with Daniel Mattes, producer of Last Night I Saw You Smiling, and short film by Kavich Neang, New Land Broken Road (Cambodia 2018, 15 mins), 11 Sep (University of Westminster)

On tour – Sep-Oct 2019:

Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), Filmhouse (Edinburgh), HOME (Manchester), Tyneside Cinema (Newcastle)