Martine Guyot-Bender, the Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Award Professor of French and Francophone Studies, presented a paper at the 20th and 21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium at Villanova University.

Her paper on Cambodian Arthouse cinema as a catalyst for social change, based on empirical research, examines poetic cinematography as a strategy to circumvent censorship (or perceived censorship) and addresses complex issues linked to the fast modernization of the country (i.e., urban and rural poverty, human trafficking, the environment, and rural exodus).

Guyot-Bender said this type of cinema, which is taken for granted in Western and Northern countries, only emerged in Cambodia in the mid-2000s, at a time when cinema was shying away from all connections with reality and produced mostly horror, action, and melodramatic stories. “It prolongs a long love story of Cambodia with cinema,” Guyot-Bender observed. 

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