Last Night I Saw You Smiling

“This is an important film about how to deal with concepts like origin and home.” Asian Movie Pulse

5 September 201925 September 2019


Khmer with Thai/English subtitles
Last Night I Saw You Smiling laurels



The iconic White Building, home to 493 families in Phnom Penh, faces demolition. Director Kavich Neang follows his family and neighbors as they move out before its total destruction.

“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 inside, once dreamed of shooting a fiction film here, but reality overtook his plan. It’s now the location for his first full-length documentary. When demolition comes, it’s all just a memory.

With supposed changes coming after the elections in Burma, the film and the filmmaker wonders what would be different for the lives of those, trapped in a prolonged ethnic war, now under Aung San Suu Kyi’s leadership. Would it be better or would it be worse?


About the film

Director: Kavich Neang
Country: Cambodia
Year: 2019
Duration: 77 mins

doc club logo