Phnom Penh’s German-Cambodian cultural centre, Meta House, will be re-screening a classic this weekend as part of their best films about Cambodia series.
Released in 2009, Same Same But Different – directed by German filmmaker Detlev Buck – became an instant classic in the Kingdom upon its release for its moving depiction of blossoming romance between a Cambodian bar girl and her German boyfriend.
The story, based on Benjamin Prufer’s incredible autobiographical magazine article which was later published as a novel, follows a whirlwind romance between a young German graduate on his summer backpacking trip and a Cambodian bar girl living in Phnom Penh.
Tragedy befalls the pair, bringing them back together in a heart-rending tale that captured audience imaginations both in Cambodia and abroad.
In 2009, a red carpet was rolled out on Norodom Boulevard for the Cambodian premiere of the film, which director Buck labelled his “declaration of love for Cambodia”. The film’s more than 200 cast and crew – among which were many Cambodian nationals – were in attendance that night.
Nine years on, Meta House will once again showcase this homage to Cambodian society and culture.
“Meta House is showcasing the best films about modern Cambodia – and we think Same Same But Different is one of them. We feel that the messages in this film are still valid and interesting – this is why we’ve once again programmed it.
“It’s a great film and the biggest German feature film project ever produced in Cambodia – Meta House was proudly part of the production team,” Nicolaus Mesterharm, founding director of the German Cambodian Cultural Center Meta House, said.
David Kross, who played the lead protagonist Ben, told The Post at the film’s premiere back in 2009: “It was such a different way of working. You have to improvise. It’s very fast . . . I really enjoyed the whole experience. I got to see places in Cambodia you wouldn’t see as a tourist.”
Same Same But Different will be screened at Meta House on December 15 at 7pm. Entrance is free of charge.