Distributor:  Global Environmental Justice
Length:  83 minutes
Date:  2013
Genre:  Expository
Language:  Khmer; Jarai / English subtitles
Color/BW:  Color

Curator

Jason Carbine, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Whittier College

You might also be interested in...

A River Changes Course

New to the Global Environmental Justice Project? Please register and login to preview and/or license this film. If your institution has already licensed this film, you will need to access this page from your institution's network to watch the film. For help on using the Docuseek2 platform, please visit our help wiki.

Sheds light on basic and fundamental challenges people face in the effort to eat, make a living, and have a meaningful family life amid Cambodia’s changing economic and environmental landscapes.

A River Changes Course

Curator
This film was selected byJason A. Carbine, C. Milo Connick Chair of Religious Studies Associate Professor Department of Religious Studies, Whittier College

Why I selected this film
Relations between religion and environmental justice are not explicitly explored in this documentary, even though some participants are noticeably Muslim. However, I selected the documentary for the profoundness and humanity with which it looks at the everyday world of ordinary Cambodian people. Although affected by the pressures of economic development, globalization, and environmental change, they still manage to persevere and strive for a better future.

Teacher's guide 
Please see the guide for maps, background information and suggested subjects, questions and activities. 

Synopsis
"We've worked so hard on this land," says Sav Samourn, "and now they've come to destroy it all. Sooner or later it will all be gone."

In her directorial debut, award-winning filmmaker Kalyanee Mam travels to her native homeland to capture the stories of three young Cambodians struggling to maintain their traditional way of life while the modern world closes in around them.

Deep in the jungle, Sav Samourn struggles as large companies encroach and "progress" claims the life-giving forests. She discovers there's little room for wild animals, ghosts, and the home she has always known. In a fishing hamlet, Sari Math must quit school to help support his family. But as the fish catch dwindles, Sari and his family find their livelihood threatened. In a village, Khieu Mok must leave to seek work in a Phnom Penh factory to help pay her family's debts. But city life proves no better, and Khieu struggles between her need to send money home and her duty to be with her loved ones.

From Cambodia's forests to its rivers, from its idyllic rice fields to the capital's pulsing heart, forces of radical change are transforming the landscape of the country - and the dreams of its people.

Environmental Justice Focus
Set in the context of Cambodia’s changing economic and environmental landscapes, the documentary sheds light on basic and fundamental challenges people face in the effort to eat, make a living, and have a meaningful family life.

Download Teacher's Guide
 

A RIVER CHANGES COURSE

FINAL TRANSCRIPT WITH TIME CODE

START

    0:00:08

Opening Credits

Migrant Films

In association with The Documentation Center of Cambodia

And the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation presents

A film by Kalyanee Mam

A River Changes Course

    00:00:38:03

CARD: A Remote Jungle in Northern Cambodia

    00:02:07

Cha Samourn: Mom, are these wild potatoes?

    00:02:24

Cha: How about this one, Mom?

    00:02:44

Sav Samourn: Today, everyone needs land.

    00:02:49

Sav Samourn: They don't care who the land belongs to.

 

    00:02:54

Sav Samourn: They just come and cut down all the trees.

    00:02:59

Cha: Mom, you should take the potatoes out.

    00:03:02

Sav Samourn: Carry your sister.

    00:03:05

Cha: You carry her!

    00:03:08

Sav Samourn: Please take her.

    00:03:19

Sav Samourn: She just wants to cry.

    00:03:22

Sav Samourn: And play with the potatoes here.

    00:03:57

Sav Samourn: Let's find the lice eggs.

    00:04:08

Sav Samourn: Check the pot. When it's steaming, take it out.

 

    00:04:13

Cha: Catch the egg, Mom!

    00:04:19

Cha: Mom, the ducks are eating the salt.

    00:04:25

Cha: Will they die if they eat salt?

    00:04:28

Sav Samourn: I don't know.

    00:04:38

CARD: On the Tonle Sap River in Central Cambodia

    00:05:08

Sari Math: Dad!

    00:06:33

Sari: Dad, don't put that in!

    00:06:35

Sari: Are you going to mix that in?

    00:06:37

Omar Math: It should be saltier. It's too bland.

 

    00:06:39

Sari: It's fine. |t's already perfect.

    00:07:16

CARD: A Village Outside of Phnom Penh

    00:07:38

Savann Keoung: The buffalos keep eating the rice.

    00:07:46

Khieu Mok: The buffalos this season only want to eat rice.

    00:08:13

Khieu: Mom, look! The buffalo's eating all your rice!

    00:08:18

Savann: It's eating everything!

    00:08:28

Savann: With Khieu here, we can work together as mother and daughter.

    00:08:33

Savann: And it's not too exhausting.

    00:08:36

Savann: She helps lighten the workload for me.

 

    00:08:55

Khieu: My greatest wish is for my mother to be happy.

    00:10:22

Omar: Row to the side here.

    00:10:50

Fishing merchant: 2 ½ kg (5 ½ lbs).

    00:11:07

Omar: Drive slowly. Not too fast.

    00:11:26

Omar: Bring up the motor. And row to the side there.

    00:11:31

Nouny Math: Why did it take so long?

    00:11:34

Nouny: Sa asked you to call him.

    00:11:36

Omar: The motor nearly broke.

    00:11:37

Nouny Math: You already weighed the fish?

 

    00:11:41

Om Mey Math: Mom, it's full of chhlang fish.

    00:11:43

Om Mey: And even some rotten fish!

{00:11:45}

Om Ma Math: Rotten fish!

    00:12:04

Nouny: Om Mey, give the baby some water.

    00:12:06

Om Mey: Open wide!

    00:12:09

Om Mey: You brat!

    00:12:13

Om Mey: Eat, or I'll hit you!

    00:12:16

Om Mey: Mom, he doesn't want to eat.

    00:12:21

Omar: Bring the food! Let’s eat!

 

    00:13:27

Sav Samourn: The harvest isn't very good this year. There’s very little rice.

    00:13:36

Sav Samourn: The harvest is poor because there's no rain.

    00:13:45

Harvester: When my husband makes money from logging, he never saves

any of it.

    00:13:50

Harvester: He spends it all on liquor.

    00:13:55

Harvester: He never brings money to the farm.

    00:13:59

Harvester: When I ask him, he says he has no money.

    00:14:04

Harvester: The little money I have, I spend on food and medicine.

    00:14:12

Sav Samourn: Why are you calling me?

 

    00:14:13

Cha: The baby is crying!

    00:14:15

Sav Samourn: Try to comfort her.

    00:14:17

Sav Samourn: Why did you take her out of the shade? Give her a bath!

    00:14:23

Sav Samourn: Ask your Dad to give her a bath.

    00:14:27

Sav Samourn: Take off her clothes. She’s probably hot.

    00:14:48

Sav Samourn: Come and take your sister.

    00:14:52

Sav Samourn: Go quickly and put the baby to sleep.

    00:14:56

Sav Samourn: Take her to your Dad and ask him to tie the hammock.

    00:15:00

Sav Samourn: Walk carefully! Don’t step on the rice plants!

 

    00:15:04

Sav Samourn: If you scratch the baby, I will hit you!

    00:15:10

Cha: Sister, hurry up!

    00:15:26

Cha: Let's look here first.

    00:15:28

Cha: Then we'll look somewhere else.

    00:15:33

Cha: When are YOU going to find any?

    00:15:36

Cha: You should go look over there!

    00:15:42

Cha: Where are the potatoes?

    00:15:44

Yun: Where are they?

    00:15:47

Cha: Do you see any?

 

    00:15:51

Cha: Sister, come here!

    00:15:58

Cha: Put the basket down.

    00:16:06

Yun: Here's a potato.

    00:16:10

Cha: This is my potato.

    00:16:29

Cha: Why did you fill up so much water?

    00:16:33

Cha: Are you trying to take a bath?

    00:16:38

Yun: You said you're going to grandma's farm?

    00:16:40

Cha: I never said that!

    00:16:42

Yun: I'm also going tomorrow!

 

    00:16:45

Cha: You're lying!

    00:16:52

Cha: That one's not clean yet.

    00:16:54

Yun: Which one?

    00:16:55

Yun: Where?

    00:16:57

Cha: That one.

    00:16:58

Cha: That's my potato. Wash it carefully.

    00:17:04

Yun: YOUR potato?

    00:17:05

Cha: Yes, they're all mine!

    00:17:16

Sav Samourn: The elders say that on the fourth month of the indigenous

calendar

 

    00:17:21

Sav Samourn: the butterflies fly north to Laos.

    00:17:25

Sav Samourn: They fly to Laos to paint colors or flowers on their bodies.

    00:17:33

Sav Samourn: When they first fly north, they have no colors.

    00:17:37

Sav Samourn: They're only yellow or white.

{00:17:40}

Sav Samourn: But when they return,

    00:17:42

Sav Samourn: their bodies are painted with bright colors.

    00:17:46

Sav Samourn: They're painted all the colors that ever existed.

    00:18:10

Sari: I've been fishing since I was little.

    00:18:14

Sari: So I've never studied very much.

 

    00:18:26

Sari: I decided to quit school because it's too hard for my family.

    00:18:30

Sari: I want to make money so that my brothers and sisters can go to

school.

    00:18:40

Sari: Most of the villagers here are illiterate.

    00:18:44

Sari: I'm lucky I studied to Grade 7.

    00:18:47

Sari: In my village, no one studies this far.

    00:18:51

Sari Math: By Grade 5 they quit.

    00:19:12

Children: The left has five. The right has five.

    00:19:14

Children: Five and five commands ten.

 

    00:19:17

Children: Five and five commands ten.

    00:19:20

Teacher: Okay, now one more time.

    00:19:21

Children: The left hand has five fingers.

    00:19:25

Children: The right hand also has five.

    00:19:28

Children: The left has five. The right has five.

    00:19:31

Children: Five and five commands ten.

    00:19:33

Children: Five and five commands ten.

    00:20:08

Savann : I feel sorry for my daughter. She's worked hard for years, but

still has nothing to show for it.

    00:20:15

Savann: She works hard just to support her younger brothers.

 

    00:20:28

Khieu Mok: We had to borrow money from the bank this year.

    00:20:30

Khieu Mok: To help make ends meet.

    00:20:34

Khieu Mok: We needed the money to buy land and a buffalo.

    00:20:47

Savann: You're here so early! Don’t you know we're busy harvesting?

    00:20:51

Savann: Excuse me for speaking without removing my hat.

    00:20:55

Savann: You know we're busy with the harvest. Why did you come so early?

    00:20:59

Savann: You need to make your payments early.

    00:21:04

Savann: I'm just short 22 cents.

    00:21:06

Debt Collector: Then bring it.

 

    00:21:08

Debt Collector: Leave your money here. No one will take it.

    00:21:10

Savann: You're stealing my money.

    00:21:11

Debt Collector: She lost her money and she still acts sassy!

    00:21:14

Debt Collector: She wants everyone else to repay her debt.

    00:21:21

Savann: We just paid off two months.

    00:21:24

Savann: How many months do we have left?

    00:21:27

Savann: Another 7 months? We have to make 11 payments total.

    00:21:33

Savann: Thank you. I'm in a rush to get back to the harvest.

    00:21:36

Debt Collector: I only have two cents in change.

 

    00:22:44

Savann: That's enough.

    00:22:48

Khieu: Mom, what do you want me to do if it hurts?

    00:22:52

Khieu: It's not turning red.

    00:22:55

Savann: Don't coin so hard; a little more softly.

    00:23:01

Savann: I've had this cold for a few days, but I haven't had a chance to

coin.

    00:23:07

Savann: I'm always busy doing something.

    00:23:16

Khieu: You're fidgeting too much, that’s why it hurts.

    00:23:19

Savann: It hurts, that's why I keep turning to look.

 

    00:23:23

Khieu: I haven't coined your waist yet.

    00:23:26

Savann: It's too painful! That's enough!

    00:23:29

Savann: Now coin this side.

    00:23:31

Savann: It hurts too much.

    00:23:37

Savann: Just stop. It's too painful.

    00:23:39

Khieu: Really, Mom. What do you expect me to do?

    00:23:42

Savann: Start from here.

    00:23:46

Savann: That's enough.

    00:23:48

Savann: You keep coining the bony parts.

 

    00:23:51

Khieu Mok: How can I coin the meaty parts when you're all bones!

    00:23:59

Savann: You're not doing it right.

    00:24:03

Khieu: You're not satisfied?

    00:24:18

Savann: Palm trees have many uses.

    00:24:22

Savann: The palm liquid can be boiled into a sugar - palm sugar.

    00:24:27

Savann: The trunk of the palm tree

    00:24:29

Savann: can be cut to build houses.

    00:24:34

Savann: Palm leaves can be sewn to cover the walls.

    00:24:39

Savann: Or used to cover the rooftops of houses.

 

    00:24:47

Savann: Place them carefully.

    00:25:03

Savann: I owe a lot of money.

    00:25:08

Savann: Before, when the kids were little, we never borrowed any money.

    00:25:13

Savann: But when the kids got older, we began to borrow.

    00:25:25

Savann: Are there any more palm stems?

    00:25:44

Savann: The palm stems are too big.

    00:25:46

Khieu: Let me cut it for you.

    00:25:48

Savann: I'll just tear it off.

    00:25:56

Savann: Tomorrow, Khieu is leaving for Phnom Penh to find work.

 

    00:26:01

Savann: She will look for work in Phnom Penh.

    00:26:07

Savann: She will look for work in a garment factory.

    00:26:17

Savann: All the young people have gone, by the truckloads.

    00:26:22

Savann: Some aren't even of age yet, and they've gone.

    00:26:26:

Savann: he young kids want to follow the older kids who can work.

    00:26:30

Savann: Those who find work in the factories first, help the ones who go

later.

    00:26:39

Savann: So that everyone is able to find work.

    00:26:45

Savann: All the young people in the village have gone. Only the old

people are left.

    00:27:02

Savann: When my daughter goes, I will miss her.

 

    00:27:22

Savann: The car leaves at 11 o'clock.

    00:27:35

Khieu: Place it in the middle there.

    00:27:38

Savann: Don't put it in your pocket.

Khieu: Mom, why are you acting so afraid?

    00:27:59

Man: Will the car take me all the way?

Fare Collector: Yes.

    00:28:03

Khieu: What's the fare?

    00:28:05

Fare Collector: 3.75 USD.

    00:28:06:20

Khieu: 3.75 USD is a lot.

    00:28:08

Fare Collector: That's the right price. It’s what we charge everyone.

 

    00:28:14

Khieu: Can I sit in the front?

    0:28:16

Fare Collector: Sure, there's a seat in the front.

    00:28:19

Khieu: How about 3.25 USD?

    00:28:20

Fare Collector: Everyone in this car is charged the same price.

    00:28:23

Fare Collector: It's 3.75 USD for all the stops.

    00:28:31

Khieu: I'm afraid of getting carsick.

Fare Collector: There's no need to be afraid.

    00:28:37

Fare Collector: They say if you kiss the driver, you won't get carsick.

    00:28:41

Fare Collector: Driver, will you kiss her?

    00:28:43

Khieu: I'm too old.

 

    00:28:44

Fare Collector: He won't kiss you then. You’re too old!

    00:28:53

Driver: Are you ready? We’re in a hurry!

    00:28:56

Khieu: Good-bye, Mom!

Savann: Okay, have a safe journey.

    00:29:49

Noung: Hurry! The rain is coming!

    00:29:53

Noung: Hurry, it's going to rain! All the wood will get soaked!

    00:29:57

Noung: Get down! I'll do it! It’ll be quicker.

    00:30:03

Noung: Om Mey, carry the wood to the back!

    00:30:47

Omar Math: Straighten up your penis!

 

    00:30:53

Om Ma: Point it straight, Akai!

    00:30:55

Omar: Go ahead and point it! Your antenna is sticking up!

    00:31:00

Omar Math: Point your antenna for good reception!

    00:31:14

Sari: Leave me alone!

    00:31:15

Om Mey: The baby was trying to poke you!

    00:31:18

Noung: Om Mey, put the baby to sleep.

    00:33:26

Sav Samourn: The kids make such a mess around the house.

    00:33:31

Sav Samourn: No one helps to keep the place clean.

    00:33:50

Pesles Samourn: Mix the rice with the soup.

 

    00:33:57

Sav Samourn: Sit properly when you eat.

    00:34:03

Sav Samourn: Don't be awkward.

    00:34:08

Sav Samourn: Sit properly.

    00:34:10

Sav Samourn: If I knew you kids were this messy, I wouldn't let you eat.

    00:34:22

Yun: Mom, I'm not full yet.

    00:34:59

Boy: Now, it's your turn to recite it.

    00:35:06

Boy: Repeat it yourself.

    00:35:07

Cha: I can't do it.

    00:35:16

Boy: Recite it!

 

    00:35:19

Boy: Just say it! Why can't you do it?

    00:35:25

Boy: Just do it!

    00:35:28

Boy: Come on!

    00:35:30

Boy: Read it!

    00:35:34

Boy: She can't even read the letter ˝.

    00:35:38

Sav Samourn: I've never seen her study.

    00:35:42

Boy: Whether she studies or not, she should at least know the alphabet.

    00:35:48

Boy: Let's try again - ˝.

Cha: - ˝

    00:35:50

Boy: What's this?

 

Cha: - ˝.

    00:36:34

CARD: The Capital City of Phnom Penh

    00:37:47

Sewing School Owner: A lot of factory workers come study here.

    00:37:51

Khieu: How much for an hour lesson?

    00:37:53

Sewing School Owner: 60 cents per hour. Or 12 USD for a complete

lesson.

    00:37:56

Sewing School Owner: A complete lesson takes five days.

    00:37:59:00

Khieu: Five days for a complete lesson?

Sewing School Owner: Yes.

    00:38:01

Sewing School Owner: Up to what grade did you study?

Khieu: I've never studied.

 

    00:38:04

Sewing School Owner: Then it'll be hard.

Khieu: It really is hard.

    00:38:07

Sewing School Owner: Can you write your own name?

Khieu: Yes, I can.

    00:38:10

Khieu Mok: Are there many students?

Sewing School Owner: Only a few students at a time.

    00:38:14

Sewing School Owner: After they learn how to sew, they go straight to

work.

    00:38:27

Khieu: Where should I put it? Should I put it here?

    00:38:29

Sewing Instructor: Yes, that's fine.

    00:38:31

Sewing Instructor: Sew! And place your feet here.

    00:38:33

Khieu: Pedal forward?

 

    00:38:34

Sewing Instructor: Yes, normally when you sew, you pedal forward.

    00:38:38

Sewing Instructor: Push it in.

    00:38:40

Sewing Instructor: Now, go.

    00:38:48

Sewing Instructor: Yes, turn it around.

    00:38:50

Sewing Instructor: Now, do it all by yourself. And place it close to the

seam.

    00:38:53

Sewing Instructor: Keep it straight.

    00:38:58

Sewing School Owner: It seems like you've done this before.

    00:39:01

Khieu: I've never done this!

 

    00:39:03

Khieu: I don't know anything.

    00:40:06

Omar: Sari, don't drive like that!

    00:40:10

Omar: You'll break the motor.

    00:40:16

Farid Math: Turn off the motor.

    00:40:30

Omar: Wake up!

    00:40:32

Omar: Come on, get up!

    00:40:35

Omar: Gather up the net.

    00:40:37

Omar: Shake it.

    00:40:40

Omar: Turn the boat.

 

    00:40:42

Omar: Turn it, just past the net.

    00:40:55

Om Mey: After this one, I'm done!

    00:40:57

Farid: No, we still have more fish to clean!

    00:41:07

Fisherman: What size fishnets are you using?

    00:41:09

Omar: 2.5 or 3.5 cm?

    00:41:13

Omar: Did you catch a lot of fish today?

    00:41:15

Fisherman: We've been fishing all day and we only caught 2 kg (4 lbs)!

    00:41:37

Sari: If we can't catch anything, we should just go home.

    00:41:40

Omar: Not yet.

 

    00:41:44

Sari: There's no wind today.

    00:41:46

Omar: We should try 2 or 3 more times.

    00:41:48

Omar: At noon, we'll go home.

    00:41:59

Omar; We'll probably lose money today.

    00:42:04:

Omar: Is the duck roasted?

    00:42:06

Om Mey: Mom's been cooking it since morning.

    00:42:17

Sari: Om Mey, has the teacher been asking for you?

    00:42:23

Om Mey: The teacher asked why we weren’t going to school.

    00:42:29

Om Mey: The teacher will build a bridge to the school.

 

    00:42:33

Omar Math: Did they build the bridge yet?

    00:42:36

Om Mey: I heard Pao say they will build a bridge in 4 or 5 days.

    00:42:40

Omar: The fishing season will end in a few days.

    00:42:42

Sari: Then you should go back to school.

    00:42:47

Sari: If the teacher asks why you took such a long break...

    00:42:50

Sari: Tell him, "I'm too busy taking care of my little brother."

    00:42:53

Sari: "And my parents are both fishing." Tell him that.

    00:42:58

Omar: No, tell him we don't have an extra boat to row to school.

    00:43:00

Omar: It's too hard.

 

    00:43:01

Om Mey: And we also have to row past the island.

    00:43:03

Sari: And tell him the school doesn’t even have a bridge.

    00:43:06

Sari: There's no bridge to cross.

    00:43:10

Om Mey: I need to fix my hair properly.

    00:43:15

Om Mey: I didn't get to comb it yet.

    00:43:24

Om Mey: My hair smells nice even though I haven't washed it yet.

    00:43:29

Omar: Om Mey, row the boat.

    00:43:31

Omar: We will pull in the nets soon.

    00:43:38

Fishing Merchant: You didn't catch much today?

 

    00:43:40

Omar: No, today was not so good.

    00:43:46

Omar: This is all we have.

    00:43:48

Fishing Merchant: 4 kg (9 lbs)!

    00:43:50

Fishing Merchant: No! 8 kg (18 lbs)!

    00:44:27

Omar: Om Mey, watch out for the sides.

    00:44:43

Akai: If you marry a city man, you will be short of money.

    00:44:47

Akai: But if you choose me, you will have dollars to spend.

    00:44:50

Akai: Darling, you will have a Lexus and a villa.

    00:44:54

Akai: Wherever you go, you will be modern and stylish.

 

    00:44:57

Akai: If you marry a city man, you will be short of money.

    00:45:00

Akai: But if you choose me, you will have dollars to spend.

    00:45:03

Akai: Darling, you will have a Lexus and a villa.

    00:45:07

Akai: Wherever you go, you will be modern and stylish.

    00:45:10

Akai: If you marry a city man, you will be short of money.

    00:45:13

Akai: But if you choose me, you will have dollars to spend.

    00:45:17

Akai: Darling, you will have a Lexus and a villa.

    00:45:20

Akai: Wherever you go, you will be modern and stylish.

    00:45:24

Akai: That's it.

 

    00:45:33

Television: I also have a magic pill to bring wind.

    00:45:38

Television: Big sister, let me borrow your magic fan!

    00:45:41

Television: I will let you borrow my fan.

    00:45:48

Television: I will bring the fan for you. Just leave me quickly!

    00:45:51

Television: Leave me!

    00:45:53

Television: Leave me!!!

    00:45:58

Noung: Tomorrow I want to fish early in the morning. We’re not catching

anything.

    00:46:04

Noung: Maybe we can catch at least 5 kg (11 lbs).

    00:46:10

Television: You can exchange your lucky draws from all Black Horse

liquor branches nationwide.

 

    00:46:16

Television: Don't forget to look under your bottle cap to win the lucky

draw!

    00:46:20

Television: Black Horse!

    00:46:23

Television: Raid will kill ants and cockroaches on contact!

    00:46:27

Television: Drink this! There are no added colors or preservatives.

    00:46:30

Television: But why should I drink it?

    00:46:31

Television: Because...

    00:46:32

Television: I love you!

    00:47:04

Sav Samourn: Your hair is so dirty. You really need to wash it.

 

    00:47:07:

Cha: Can't I just take one basket?

    00:47:09

Sav Samourn: No, don't go yet.

    00:47:25

Cha: Mom, let me hold the kettle

Sav Samourn: Let's go!

    00:47:53

Cha: Don't wash your snot in here!

    00:48:53

Radio: Please join us as we continue our program...

    00:50:00

Khieu: I feel my life is divided in half.

    00:50:14

Khieu: Honestly speaking, all Khmer girls working in factories,

    00:50:19

Khieu: are divided in half.

 

    00:50:27

Khieu: We work in the factory, because there aren't enough rice fields to

work on.

    00:50:43

Khieu: The Ministry of Labor increased the base wage to 61 USD a month.

    00:50:48

Khieu: But if you work overtime, you can make about 100 USD a month.

    00:52:41

Khieu: The factory pays its workers on the 10th of every month.

    00:53:22

Khieu: How much is this?

Vendor: 1.25 USD per kg (2 lbs).

    00:53:26

Khieu: You charge by the kg?

Vendor: Yes.

    00:53:34

Khieu: I come home from work, cook, and eat.

    00:53:37

Khieu: The next morning, I wake up and work for someone else again.

 

    00:53:42

Khieu: I never have time to think about the future.

    00:54:28

Factory Girl 1: I work in a garment factory.

    00:54:30

Factory Girl 1: In the village, I can only work during the planting and

harvest seasons.

    00:54:37

Factory Girl 1: In the factory, I can work every day.

    00:54:40

Factory Girl 1: So I can save some money and send it back home.

    00:54:44

Factory Girl 2: I'll work in any factory that pays the most.

    00:54:49

Factory Girl 2: The base wage is 61 USD a month.

    00:54:53

Factory Girl 3: I came here to work because my parents are poor.

 

    00:54:55

Factory Girl 3:If I don't work, who will take care of us?

    00:54:59

Factory Girl 2: I've worked in the factory for many years but I've saved

nothing.

    00:55:04

Factory Girl 2: Not even 100 USD.

    00:55:06

Factory Girl 2: I have to buy all kinds of things.

    00:55:08

Factory Girl 2: I have to buy everything.

    00:55:10

Factory Girl 1: Right now, everything is much more expensive than

before.

    00:55:13

Factory Girl 1: Even food is more expensive.

    00:55:17

Factory Girl 2: I tell all the young people not to come. They should find

work at home instead.

 

    00:55:25

Factory Girl 1: After one more year, I’ll probably stop working.

    00:55:29

Factory Girl 2: I'll probably work one more year. I want to go home and

raise the cows.

    00:55:34

Factory Girl 3: I definitely want to go home, raise pigs, and work in the

rice fields.

    00:55:41

Factory Girl 1: I will stop working and return to the country.

    00:55:46

Factory Girl 1: I have a three year old child in the village.

    00:55:58

Landlady: Here, I'll give you 23 USD in change.

    00:56:02

Khieu: I really can't believe it!

    00:56:05

Landlady: Just take it.

    00:56:06

Khieu: Okay, give me the change.

 

    00:56:08

Khieu: I can't believe the bill is so high!

    00:56:11

Landlady: Here.

    00:56:21

Khieu: 10 USD!|Can you believe it?

    00:56:24

Landlady: And it's 9 USD, not 10!

    00:56:27

Khieu: Isn't that already 10?!

    00:56:49

Khieu: Every month, I budget|80 USD to send to my mother...

    00:56:58

Khieu: ...to pay back our debt.

    00:57:41

Sav Samourn: Before, we wouldn't dare walk through here.

    00:57:46

Sav Samourn: There were tigers, bears, and elephants.

 

    00:57:49

Sav Samourn: Now, all the wild animals are gone.

    00:57:53

Sav Samourn: We used to be afraid of wild animals and ghosts.

    00:57:57

Sav Samourn: Now, we're afraid of people.

    00:58:00

Sav Samourn: The elders say they're afraid of people cutting down the

forests.

    00:58:13

Sav Samourn: We burn the land every year to destroy the roots and make

the soil fertile.

    00:58:21

Sav Samourn: Once the soil is fertile, we can plant rice here.

    00:58:27

Sav Samourn: But when the soil goes bad, we leave it fallow and clear out

more land.

    00:58:34

Sav Samourn: Cut new forest and clear new land.

 

    00:58:38

Sav Samourn: Soon, new forests will take over again.

    00:58:42

Sav Samourn: When the trees grow big again, we will return to cut and

clear once more.

    00:58:47

Sav Samourn: Come get this!

    00:58:49

Sav Samourn: Here, take it!

    00:58:57

Sav Samourn: If we don't burn, the soil will become dry and barren.

    00:59:04

Sav Samourn: And it will be hard to grow rice.

    00:59:14

Sav Samourn: I've been feeling sick for nearly ten years now.

    00:59:19

Sav Samourn: My body shakes and my muscles ache.

    00:59:24

Sav Samourn: My head aches and I feel dizzy.

 

    00:59:28

Sav Samourn: I don't feel like eating and the sight of food makes me ill.

    00:59:34

Pesles: I was so sick I almost died.

    00:59:38

Sav Samourn: The baby vomited and had diarrhea so we connected her to

an IV.

    00:59:42

Sav Samourn: Only after one or two bags did she get better.

    00:59:46

Sav Samourn: They say it's a sickness of the chest and the intestines.

    00:59:49

Sav Samourn: After we finished harvesting, she was sick for about a week.

    00:59:56

Sav Samourn: I don't know why so many people are getting sick.

    01:00:00

Sav Samourn: Maybe it's from eating other people's foods.

 

    01:00:03

Sav Samourn: Before we ate salt, chili peppers, and all our own fruits and

vegetables.

    01:00:11

Sav Samourn: Now, we buy food from other people.

    01:00:15

Sav Samourn: We were never sick like this before.

    01:00:20

Sav Samourn: I just know that these days, everyone is getting sick.

    01:00:25

Sav Samourn: I'm not sure what causes it.

    01:00:30

Sav Samourn: Maybe it's from the food that we buy.

    01:00:33

Sav Samourn: Or maybe it's from the water.

    01:00:57

Khieu: In the beginning, we agreed I should come here and work.

 

    01:01:03

Khieu: So that we could pay off our debts.

    01:01:06

Khieu: And help ease the burden.

    01:01:08

Khieu: But when I came here, my Mom changed her mind.

    01:01:12

Khieu: I really want to work. Mom and I agreed that I would come here

and work.

    01:01:17

Khieu: And make money to pay our debts.

    01:01:21

Khieu: But now Mom’s having a tough time.

    01:01:25

Khieu: It's so hard for me to think about it.

    01:01:28

Khieu: Half of me wants to stay. The other half wants to go.

    01:01:32

Khieu: I feel sorry for my Mom if I don't go.

 

    01:01:38

Khieu: My family said, "Think about it, Khieu. Is it more worth it to stay or

to go?"

    01:01:42

Khieu: "If you farm, we will have food to eat."

    01:01:46

Khieu: "And Mom won't be so tired."

    01:01:49

Khieu: "Since you will be there to help her."

    01:01:52

Khieu: "If you stay, of course you'll make money."

    01:01:55

Khieu: "But it may not be enough to buy food."

    01:01:59

Khieu: I don't know. I’ll have to ask Mom.

    01:02:05

Factory Girl 4: How much per minute?

 

    01:02:10

Shopkeeper: 12 cents for two minutes.

    01:02:16

Khieu: Is this Aunt Vun? Where's Mom?

    01:02:20

Khieu: Hurry! I need to talk to Mom and I don't have much money.

    01:02:24

Savann: It's too hard...

    01:02:28

Khieu: What's so hard, Mom?

    01:02:31

Savann: There's so much work to do.

    01:02:34

Khieu: Is it too hard for you to plow?

    01:02:37

Khieu: I don't know. It’s really up to you, Mom.

    01:02:38

Savann: And my waist is really bothering me.

 

    01:02:41

Khieu: You should wrap some rubber around your waist.

    01:02:47

Khieu: Okay, just tell me once and for all. What should I do?

    01:02:52

Savann: I'm telling you to come home.

    01:02:57

Khieu: What day?

    01:02:59

Savann: Sunday.

    01:03:01

Savann: We're planting rice on Monday.

    01:03:04

Khieu: Why so soon?

    01:03:08

Khieu: What if I just stayed one more week?

    01:03:13

Khieu: Ok, Mom. That’s enough, then.

 

    01:03:15

Savann: Fine, but make sure you come on Sunday!

    01:03:18

Khieu: Let me see first. How can I get there by Sunday?

    01:03:23

Khieu: Ok, that's enough, Mom.

    01:05:49

Savann: Daughter, I didn't think you would come home.

    01:05:52

Savann: Your brother said, "Mom! Mom! Sister is here!"

    01:05:54

Savann: I said, "You guys have lied to me so many times. I'm not going."

    01:05:58

Khieu: Where's the other cow?

Savann: At the neighbor's house.

    01:06:01

Khieu : What?

    01:06:03

Khieu: It's our cow, and you let someone else take it?

 

    01:06:09

Savann: The cow didn't even finish feeding and they came to fetch me.

    01:06:16

Savann: We had to sell the big generator and buy a small one.

    01:06:20

Savann: We sold it for 10 USD and bought a small generator.

    01:06:22

Savann: How can we save any money? We’re always spending it all.

    01:06:26

Savann: We spent 1.25 USD to fix the small one, but now it's broken.

    01:06:30

Savann: It's pitch dark at night with no light.

    01:06:34

Savann: We can never save anything.

    01:06:52

Omar: Our son, Sari, went to plant cassava for the Chinese.

    01:07:00

Omar: He's been gone a month now.

 

    01:07:08

Omar: He went to help relieve the family burden.

    01:07:15

Omar: As his parents, we forced him to go.

    01:07:21

Omar: He really didn't want to go.

    01:07:24

Omar: But we forced him because he needs to help make money.

    01:07:29

Omar: If we didn't force him, he wouldn't have gone.

    01:07:33

Omar: But as a son, he can't challenge his parents.

    01:07:43

Omar: We decided he should work over there because we are struggling

here.

    01:07:51

Omar: We are struggling because we can't catch any fish.

 

    01:08:01

Omar: Sari's future can only be a struggle.

    01:08:07

Noung: He will be a fisherman.

    01:08:09

Noung: He will follow in his parents' footsteps, unless he works for the

Chinese.

    01:08:23

Omar: For the future generations, all the fish will be gone.

    01:08:29

Omar: All our Muslim brothers and sisters in Koh Manoh village, will go

work for the Chinese.

    01:08:38

CARD : A Cassava Plantation in Western Cambodia

    01:08:52

Sari: I'm not sure how I ended up working here.

    01:09:01

Sari: Some of the villagers said, "If you're not catching any fish, why don't

you go work for the Chinese?"

 

    01:09:06

Sari: "You can plant potatoes and dig ditches."

    01:09:09:

Sari: "It's very easy."

    01:09:20

Sari: There's no work at home.

    01:09:22

Sari: There's work, but we can't catch any fish.

    01:09:37

Sari: They say before, this was covered with dense forest.

    01:09:41

Sari: Now, all the forests have been cleared.

    01:10:36

Sari: Mom, are you able to catch anything?

    01:10:40

Sari: Have you cast the nets?

    01:10:46

Sari: If everything's fine over there, I don't need to go back.

 

    01:10:52

Sari: I haven't received my wages yet. How can I go back?

    01:10:57:15

Mom, I'm just afraid we can’t make any money over there.

    01:11:05

Sari: I can make money here while you make money over there.

    01:11:10

Sari: I have about 25 USD saved up.

    01:11:16

Sari: But I want to work another month.

    01:11:21

Sari: It's hard over there. I'm afraid you’ll swear at me for not catching any

fish.

    01:11:30

Sari: Hello?

    01:12:00

Khieu: In my heart, I really want our village to be like Phnom Penh.

    01:12:07

Khieu: We could construct a large factory with many buildings.

 

    01:12:12:

Khieu: The wetlands over there belong to the government.

    01:12:17

Khieu: They're planning to clear out that land and build a factory.

    01:12:22

Khieu: If they build a factory here, life would be so easy.

    01:12:26

Khieu: If we want to buy food at this time, we can.

    01:12:29

Khieu: Or we can wait until evening, because there would be roads.

    01:12:33

Khieu: If they build a factory, they will also build roads. We won't have to

cut through the rice fields.

    01:12:41

Khieu Mok: It would be so easy. If we wanted to buy fruit, we'd just have

to turn our heads.

    01:12:47

Khieu Mok: I want this place to transform into Phnom Penh.

 

    01:12:50

Khieu Mok: Whatever Phnom Penh is like, that’s how I want my village to

be.

    01:12:53

Khieu Mok: And we would have lights shining everywhere.

    01:12:57

Khieu Mok: Who knows how happy we would be if we really could do this.

    01:13:04

Khieu Mok: We would be so happy.

    01:13:47

Sav Samourn: We bought the rice mill this month.

    01:13:50

Sav Samourn: With money from the cashew harvest.

    01:13:55

Sav Samourn: Since we're not planting right now,

    01:13:59

Sav Samourn: we're charging people a few cans of rice to use the mill.

    01:14:13

Sav Samourn: I love the land and the forests.

 

    01:14:16

Sav Samourn: These days, almost all the trees and forests have

disappeared.

    01:14:21

Sav Samourn: There are less and less forests now as they continue

logging this place.

    01:14:27

Sav Samourn: The forests are almost all gone.

    01:14:30

Sav Samourn: I'm scared.

    01:14:32

Sav Samourn: We have no more land or forests to run to.

    01:14:35

Sav Samourn: We've worked so hard on this land. And now they've come

to destroy it all.

    01:14:40

Sav Samourn: Sooner or later, it will all be gone.

    01:14:44

Sav Samourn: The future generations will have no land.

 

    01:14:48

Sav Samourn: With no land, it will be even more difficult for them.

    01:14:52

Sav Samourn: What can they do, but become a laborer for someone else?

    01:14:57

Sav Samourn: And it's hard to work for someone else.

    01:15:01

Sav Samourn: It's not like working for yourself.

    01:15:06

Sav Samourn: You're always moving forward when you work for yourself.

    01:15:11

Sav Samourn: When you work for someone else, you have nothing.

    01:15:20

Sav Samourn: All the villages are selling their land to the companies.

    01:15:25

Sav Samourn: We're the only ones who haven’t sold our land and forests.

    01:15:29

Sav Samourn: They say the companies are coming to the forests here.

 

    01:15:33

Sav Samourn: They say later the companies will come.

    01:15:35

Sav Samourn: They will come settle and clear the land.

    01:15:39

Sav Samourn: Very soon, the companies will come.

    01:15:44

Sav Samourn: People are selling land all over the place, so we must also sell.

    01:15:50

Sav Samourn: We can't live alone. We can't beat them.

    01:16:31

Sari: I don't want to think about the future. I just want to work hard and

make money.

    01:16:36

Sari : Wherever I can make money, I will go.

    01:16:45

Sari: Money.

    01:16:49

Sari: We all search for it until we find it.

 

    01:16:53

Sari: Until we are old.

    01:16:54

Sari: But we can't keep it with us forever. We make money and then it's

gone.

    01:17:01

Sari: Whether you're a fisherman or a slave of the Chinese.

    01:17:08

Sari: It might be easier if I worked where I could hold a book and a pen.

    01:17:12

Sari: Now, I just work with a hoe everyday, sweating all over my body.

    01:17:18

Sari: I don't even dare take a break.

    01:17:20

Sari: I heard people say it would be so easy.

    01:17:24

Sari Math: But when I came here, this wasn't so.

    01:17:27

Sari Math: We were all shocked.

 

    01:17:37

Kalyanee Mam: Do you remember when I came in Oct 2008? How old

were you at the time?

    01:17:45

Sari: I was 16 years old.

    01:17:50

Sari: No, I was 15 then.

    01:17:53

Sari: I was studying in Grade 7.

    01:17:56

Sari: I don't know how we met.

    01:17:59

Sari: We navigated the boat with my uncle.

    01:18:03

Kalyanee: Do you remember that time?

    01:18:04

Kalyanee: We rode to the middle of the lake.

    01:18:07

Sari: I drove you to see the water hyacinth blossoms.

 

    01:18:15

Sari: We hung out until dusk, and then returned home.

    01:18:19

Kalyanee: Do you still remember what you said?

    01:18:24

Sari: You asked me about fishing and about my family's living condition.

    01:18:28

Sari: Do you remember talking about your future and what you said?

    01:18:34

Sari: Yes, I remember.

    01:18:35

Kalyanee: What did you say?

    01:18:42

Sari Math: It's hard for me to say. Ask me something else.

    01:18:44

Kalyanee: You don't want to talk about it?

    01:18:51

Sari: If my parents would let me study...

 

    01:18:54

Sari: and get a diploma...

    01:18:56

Sari: and I could work...

    01:18:59

Sari: I would buy land for my parents to live on.

    01:19:04

Sari: I won't let them live on the water.

    01:19:06

Sari: If we had money, it would be okay. But even on water, we have

nothing.

    01:19:10

Sari: If I don't change my profession, I will be a fisherman for the rest of my life.

    01:20:12

MUSIC AND CREDITS

No reviews available.

Citation

Main credits

Mam, Kalyanee E. (film director)
Mam, Kalyanee E. (film producer)
Mam, Kalyanee E. (director of photography)
Leng, Ratanak (film producer)

Other credits

Edited by Chris Brown; cinematography by Kalyanee Mam; music, David Mendez.


Distributor credits

Ratanak Leng and Kalyanee Mam

Kalyanee Mam

Director - Kalyanee Mam
Producers - Ratanak Leng and Kalyanee Mam
Composer - David Mendez
Cinematographer - Kalyanee Mam
Editor - Chris Brown

Docuseek2 subjects

Environmental Justice
Asian Studies
History
Anthropology and Archaeology
Politics and Political Science
Geography
Ethnography
Water
Rivers and Lakes
Sustainability
Asia
Climate Change
Government Policy
Communication and Media Studies
Manufacturing
Human Rights
Fishing
Global / International Studies
Globalization
Film and Video Studies
Indigenous Studies
Conservation and Protection
Habitat Destruction
Ecology
Family Issues
South Asia
Women's Studies
Environmental Geography
Religion and Spirituality

Distributor subjects

Activism
Anthropology
Asian Studies
Biodiversity
Bioregions and Habitat
Cambodia
China
Climate Change
Ecosystems
Environmental Science
Ethnography
Estuaries
Fishing
Food
Forests
Gender Studies
Geography
Globalization
History
Human Rights
Media Studies
Political Science
Water
Youth and Family

Keywords

Colorflow, Documentation Center for Cambodia, The McArthur Foundation. SIDA, The Sleuk Rith Institute, Phnom Penh, Skywalker Sound, USAID, Fight for Areng Valley, Sav Samourn, China, Sari Math, Kalyanee Mam, Pulitzer Center, Tonle Sap, China, fishing, factory, labor, clothing, children, families, Sav Samourn, Khieu Mok, cassava plantation, Cambodia; "A River Changes Course"; Global Environmental Justice

Welcome to Docuseek2!

Docuseek2 is a streaming platform of the best documentary and social issue films available for the higher education community.

Anyone may search for titles and find detailed information about the titles. To preview films or license them for streaming, you must register and login.

Currently, we support online registration for anyone affiliated with a higher education institution. Please inquire if you are with a K-12 district or school or with a public library.

Click the Close button to get started!