Archive of films Ruin / Ruin

Australia / Cambodia
2013, 90 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2014

A man and a woman on the run from their devastating circumstances meet by chance on the streets of Phnom Penh, and together they try to find peace in a chaotic world darkened by the oppressive shadow cast by Cambodia’s past. Part nightmare, part anthropological essay, the movie strikes an exceptionally strong cord through its minimal means of expression.


Phirun and Sovanna are two foreigners brought together by chance and the struggle to escape the bitter, nightmarish reality of contemporary Cambodia. The kindred spirits find support in each other, and together they set off on a journey out of the capital Phnom Penh, where social decay and human aggression run rampant. Although they attempt to break out of the vicious cycle of brutality, the pair are unable to free themselves from the insidious destruction even after heading out into the jungle. On the contrary, in the interest of escaping from their civilized hell, they too must sacrifice much. Thanks to the small crew, the absence of a set script, and a good measure of improvisation, this utterly disturbing picture yields an exceedingly authentic experience whose effectiveness is bolstered by the compelling sound mix and the esthetic yet quasi- documentary visual style. Set against the backdrop of an uncommon love story, the filmmakers succeeded in portraying a world that has become unhinged, one still struggling to shake off the country’s tragic past.

About the director

Michael Cody, Amiel Courtin-Wilson Michael Cody, Amiel Courtin-Wilson

Michael Cody studied and taught cultural studies, film theory, and sound theory at the University of Technology, Sydney. While at school his main interest concerned research into the cinematic dialogue between cultures. At present he travels between Asia and Australia where he works on features and documentaries. Amiel Courtin-Wilson gained attention early on when the 19-year-old’s feature-length documentary Chasing Buddha screened at Sundance. His movies have appeared at some of the world’s most prestigious festivals, including Venice, Cannes, and Rotterdam. His first attempt at directing features, Hail, was invited to the Karlovy Vary IFF, among other festivals. Ruin is the first picture they directed, awarded the Special Jury Mention from Venice’s competitive Orizzonti section.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Another View
Director: Michael Cody, Amiel Courtin-Wilson
Screenplay: Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Michael Cody
Dir. of Photography: Ari Wegner
Music: Steve Benwell
Editor: Simon Price, Luca Cappelli, Sally Blenheim
Producer: Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Michael Cody
Production: Flood Projects Production
Coproduction: Hanuman Films
Cast: Sang Malen, Ros Mony
Contact: Reel Suspects

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