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Screening: Concrete Visions by Nico Mesterharm (2009, 17 mins)

  • Meta House #37 Sothearos Blvd Phnom Penh Cambodia (map)

“It is hard to imagine a crueler fate for an urban planner than seeing his country taken over by a regime with a murderous hatred of cities. As Cambodia's pre-eminent architect and chief urban planner during the 1960's, Vann Molyvann laid out significant portions of Phnom Penh and designed dozens of landmark structures fusing High Modernist design with classical Khmer elements. Then, in 1975, the Khmer Rouge marched into the capital and evacuated its entire population. Vann Molyvann, who survived the Khmer Rouge Regime in Swiss exile, returned in 1991 to Cambodia. Nowadays, his legacy is under threat due to Cambodia’s on-going construction boom. Helen Grant–Ross, an Art historian and architect, and filmmaker Nico Mesterharm, interviewed Vann Molyvann at the age of 80, in 2008. While the great architect's views on the current development of Phnom Penh are still respectfully listened to, they are seldom acted upon.” In English with some Khmer.