Cambodia | 74 minutes | English | English Subtitles | HDCam
- Asian Feature Film Competition, 24th Singapore International Film Festival
- Main Competition, 10th Asian Film Festival, Reggio Emilia
- Asian New Talent Awards, 15th Shanghai International Film Festival
- In Competition, Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2012
- Frame X Frame Film Series, Presented by The Arts House & Supported by Singapore Film Commission
- Feature Film Section, 3rd Cambodia International Film Festival
- Asian Contemporary Section, 11th World Film Festival of Bangkok
What does it mean to declare or even whisper: I have loved?
In Siem Reap, a young woman, haunted by loss, mourning, melancholia and the imperfections of memory, dances with two men–one of whom she is married to, while the other is engaged to be married.
Marie goes to Cambodia in search of a romantic honeymoon but is confronted with the ambiguities of life and struggles with emotions and impulses beyond her understanding. “I Have Loved” is an intimate exploration of human consciousness, time and ways of remembering. After the death of her husband, Marie is haunted by an eclipsed memory—she cannot remember a key traumatic event as it happened. Trapped in a Freudian cycle of mourning and repetition, she returns to Siem Reap to remember—so that she may forget. But she fails to achieve her desired catharsis. When she meets Amarin, who is drawn to her grief due to his own buried sorrow, light shines into her cloistered soul but guilt, fear and their vast differences makes them remain both soul mates and strangers. The landscape and architecture of Siem Reap and the Angkor temples are also characters in this film that explores contradiction on different levels.
The town of Siem Reap, compact and yet filled with contradictory building styles and transient tourists, is a metaphor for the frazzled yet searching and hopeful minds of the characters. The splendor and illusion of the grand and cold Hotel de la Paix as a modern temple for privileged pilgrims gestures towards Resnais’ “Last Year in Marienbad” and also the Angkor temples. The time- weathered temples form the emotional core of the film and visually allude to the ancient human soul—battered yet magnificent before the dust of modernity. The visual style of the film will be poetic and allusive, as if experiencing someone else’s dream. Beauty on the screen is meant to reveal the ephemerality of beauty and the fear of emptiness beneath. References include the paintings of Degas, Richter and also Louis Le Brocquy. This film is also intended as a love note to Cambodia. While the trauma of its recent past needs to be remembered, showcasing the glory of its ancient history and landscape is also an affirmation of its future. Like Marie learns, Cambodia, especially with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, confronts a painful history rather than try to forget what is impossible to forget. However, the film avoids any explicit reference to politics. The world, in fact, is almost solipsistic as Marie’s epic emotional voyage colors the mood of the film.
Elizabeth Wijaya is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Cornell University under the Cornell Research Scholarship and the HASTAC Scholarship. Her co-directorial debut feature film, I Have Loved, has competed in international festivals in Singapore, Reggio Emilia and Shanghai. She has presented papers at international academic conferences, such as Writing in a Post-Derridean Era, JD09, Derrida Today 2, Derrida Today 3, and where ghosts live. Her paper “To Learn to Live with Spectral Justice: Derrida – Levinas”, was published in Derrida Today Vol.5, Issue 2, (Nov 2012).
Lai Weijie graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in Philosophy at the National University of Singapore before receiving an M.F.A. in Film Production from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia on the Media Development Authority of Singapore’s Media Education Scheme scholarship. His co-directorial debut, I Have Loved, was in competition at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival and the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2012. He also co-produced Homecoming that made more than S$3 million in Singapore and Malaysia. Recent producing credits include That Girl in Pinafore and No Regrets!, one of the 25 projects in the Co-FPC at the Shanghai Film Market.
HD 25fps, 16:9 PAL, Stereo
Directed by Elizabeth Wijaya & Lai Weijie
Written by Elizabeth Wijaya & Lai Weijie
Produced by Tan Bee Thiam
Country of production: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Production Company: 13 Little Pictures, E&W Films
Running Time: 75 min
Glen Goei as Harold
Amarin Cholvibul as Amarin
Eryn Tett as Marie
Laetitia Gangotena as Brunette
Cinematography by Eugene Koh
Edited by Azharr Rudin
Line Producer Sherman Lai
Unit Production Manager Luch Ratha
Assistant Director Sangchul Lee, Gayle Hariff
Assistant Camera Jerry Leu
Gaffer Matte Chi
Grip Kenny Gee, Basil Mironer
Makeup & Hair Styling Elaine Décor
Wardrobe & Art Direction Gayle Hariff, Laetitia Gangotena
Boom Operator Swee Wee Keong
Sound Recordist Tan Shijie
Onset Photography Laetitia Gangotena, Basil Mironer, Kenny Gee
Translator You Sokunpanha
Driver Tyheang Pheakdey, Lak Broas
Colourist Charles Lim
Sound Design Edwin Wijaya, Leonard Fong
Composer Danny Imson
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