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A Cambodian Spring

2DCS/ES12
Director:Christopher Kelly
Premiere:10. March 2018
Length:120 minutes
Genre:Documentary

Category: Journeys to Freedom

Director: Christopher Kelly

The protests in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh reveal not only the systemic ailments of newly acquired democracy but also the diversity of motives that lead individuals to civic activism.

What are people willing to sacrifice for their right to express dissent, even though the chances of being heard are minimal? This question underpins the civil protests in Phnom Penh against the violent occupation of the urban land on which the houses of many people stand. This documentary with a personal focus follows a group of activists over the course of six years. Despite relentless and persistent threats, they demonstrate their resentment against the actions of developers and local governments, silently tolerated by Prime Minister Hun Sena. Venerable Buddhist monk Loun Sovath has drawn the attention not only of police officers and his superiors, but also his neighbours Tol Srey Pov and Tep Vanny, who transform themselves from selfless sympathisers into rivals full of personal animosity.

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