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  • "Kate Winslet bared all in The Reader, but it was the young German actor David Kross who surprised audiences as her lover. Conveying an almost alarming sensitivity onscreen, Kross is able to play both innocence and the cruelty that sometimes lies beneath it. In Same Same but Different, he explores new levels of moral complexity in a story that feels both thoroughly contemporary and desperately romantic. Kross plays Ben, a young man in search of adventure who flies off to Cambodia with his best friend. During the first days, it's the typical round of Third World getaway stuff. The pair check out tourist sites and cheap drugs, and even get the chance to fire a rocket launcher in a farmer's field. But then Ben meets Sreykeo (Apinya Sakuljaroensuk), a young Cambodian woman. She'd be a much safer bet if she were also typical. Instead, Sreykeo confounds the expected commercial exchange between a rich, callow Western man and a poor Cambodian woman. She is not simply a prostitute, but neither is she above asking Ben for money. In a series of beautifully shot encounters set to spare chamber music and melancholy Euro-pop, Ben and Sreykeo fall in love. Here director Detlev Buck appears to be channelling Lost in Translation and In the Mood for Love, as this, too, is a story of illicit love drenched in minor chords and urban decay. The difference is that Sreykeo is HIV-positive. Establishing that fact in the first scene then shifting to show both its revelation and its consequences, Buck unsettles the ground under the viewer's feet. The stakes are high for both lovers, but not merely in obvious ways. Both Kross and the Thai actress Sakuljaroensuk capture the discomfort and desire of two people drawn to each other across a chasm of difference. When Ben visits Sreykeo's home, he is too big for the cramped space. But when his vacation ends and his plane home beckons, he is suddenly small. And because this film is anything but typical, the story cannot end there." Quoting Cameron Bailey from the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival site.
  • Same Same but Different is a 2009 German film, a love story starring David Kross and Apinya Sakuljaroensuk. It was directed by Detlev Buck. The script follows the Benjamin Prüfer's 2006 autobiographical magazine article, later published as a novel in 2007. The title of Same Same but Different is indeed an Asian-English phrase, mainly used in Thailand, although the film is set in Cambodia. The film first premiered at the 62nd Locarno International Film Festival on 13 August 2009.

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