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A Cambodian Spring

  • Documentary and factual
  • 2016
  • Chris Kelly (2)
  • 126 mins
  • 15

Summary

"A Cambodian Spring" is an intimate and unique portrait of three people caught up in the chaotic and often violent development that is shaping modern-day Cambodia. Shot over six years, the film charts the growing wave of land-rights protests that led to the 'Cambodian spring' and the tragic events that followed. This film is about the complexities - both political and personal, of fighting for what you believe in.

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Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Mention Cambodia, and the Khmer Rouge and the carnage of the killing fields will immediately come to mind. However, director Chris Kelly's slice-of-strife documentary (shot over six years) is a portrait of the country's turmoil in the 21st century, as seen through the eyes of three activists caught up in land-rights protests: Toul Srey Pov, Tep Vanny (two mothers of three) and maverick Buddhist monk Luon Sovath. Beginning in 2008 in Phnom Penh with the forcible eviction of the women and their neighbours from homes bordering a lake ripe for development, it's soon apparent Kelly's anguished if overlong exposé is going to be a crushingly familiar tale of poor folk at the mercy of a corrupt, democratic government in hock to greedy land developers, backed by police thuggery and a lack of justice. The cheerfully charismatic Sovath faces his mission to help repressed villagers and farmers with a smile and a video camera, even when he's chased by the "monk police" (fellow monks who object to his activism and try to abduct him). Nevertheless, prepare to be infuriated by the callousness of the authorities and how "divide and rule" can dilute even the most noble of protest movements.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Luon SovathLuon Sovath
Tep VannyTep Vanny

Crew

rolename
DirectorChris Kelly (2)

Details

Theatrical distributor
Dartmouth Films
Released on
2018-05-18
Languages
English | Khmer
Guidance
Swearing, bloody images
Formats
Colour
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