Next film:
Previous film:

Diamond Island

France/Cambodia 2016. Dir: Davy Chou. 103 min. DCP

“An intoxicating blend of naturalism and dreamy stylization, rendering the ecstasies and agonies of late youth with remarkable attention to detail.”

Like many young men from the Cambodian countryside, Bora leaves his native village to find work in Phnom Penh. He gets a construction job on Diamond Island, a new luxury development for the city’s rapidly-rising one percent. Working by day and chasing girls at night, Bora runs into his long-lost older brother Solei, who enjoys a suspiciously lavish lifestyle. Diamond Island is a stylized tour-de-force of sharp contrasts, pitting glorified shantytowns and dusty construction sites against glittering high-end nightclubs and the cool, neon ambience of Phnom Penh at night. While writer-director Davy Chou’s background in documentary serves him well in recording the complex realities of a rapidly developing, deeply unequal society, his eye is that of a masterful stylist. Most importantly, he never loses sight of the story, crafting a seductive coming-of-age tale for a constantly mutating world.



"As with a dream, you can parse what you’ve watched for meaning or just savor what you’ve seen. For this compassionate film, either way works fine."

New York Times | full review

"A dreamy, bewitching coming-of-age drama ... The mood is intoxicating."

Village Voice | full review