The abstract-exoticist aesthetic of Leni Riefenstahl lives on in Leconte’s pernicious holiday-movie, which shows us endless Cambodians – seemingly poor but happy! – carefully composed and edited by the director to create colourful and prettily picturesque patterns as they cycle around, toil in sweatshops and forage on garbage dumps. That Leconte steadfastly refuses to contextualise what we see historically, politically and even geographically (the film doesn’t even tell us where it was shot) is indicative of the naive perversity of this misbegotten folly, which even extends to cutting the images to fit rhythmically with a bogus Balkan oratorio. Appalling.
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