Hot Docs Review: A CAMBODIAN SPRING (UK 2017) ***1/2

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A CAMBODIAN SPRING.jpgIn Cambodia, “they used to kill with weapons, now they kill with corruption.” In the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge, decades of civil war, and the installation of Hun Sen as prime minister, the oppression continues.

Director(s): Chris Kelly
Producer(s): Chris Kelly

Executive Producer(s):
Bob Moore
Christo Hird
Edwina Forkin

Review by Gilbert Seah

There are serious docs and and there are hilarious docs at HOT DOCS 2017.

A CAMBODIAN SPRING is one of the more serious docs of the festival dealing with one of the most serious issues facing people today – human rights and human rights in a country that is corrupted, inhuman and cruel.

The country is Cambodia and writer/producer/director/editor Chris Kelly gives his audience an intimate and unique portrait of three people (among them a monk and a resident of a home around a lake stolen by the Government) caught up in the chaotic and often violent development that is shaping modern-day Cambodia.

The film, shot over six years, 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 one believes in.

The film educates the world to the real Cambodia. There are unforgettable images on display here – like children taking to the streets and a bloodied injured old woman.


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