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A River Changes Course
Presented by Miriam Morgenstern
The Event Program
- A River Changes Course
Devastating scars are etched into the red earth as Sav Samourn ponders the future for her family in the deep jungles of Cambodia. Tumultuous waves pound against Sari Math’s boat as he navigates through waters being fished to extinction. The sewing machine taps and hums beneath Khieu Mok’s delicate fingers as she struggles to make money to pay off her family’s mounting debt. Against this backdrop A RIVER CHANGES COURSE is a cinematically spectacular and sensory journey into the lives of three young Cambodians and their families and an immersion into a world both distinctive and familiar. In her feature directorial debut, Kalyanee Mam, the cinematographer for the Academy Award–winning documentary INSIDE JOB, explores the damage rapid development has wrought in her native Cambodia on both a human and environmental level. Rural communities, used to reaping the bounty of their mountainous jungles and lush rivers, have witnessed their forests being cleared, land becoming scarce and costly, and fishing stocks rapidly depleting. No longer able to provide for their families, and often accruing massive debt as a result, many Cambodians have been forced to leave their rural lives behind to seek employment in the industrial factories of Phnom Penh.
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- Q&A following the film
Director & Producer Kalyanee Mam will be present for a Q&A following the screening. Having escaped war-torn Cambodia in 1979, lawyer turned filmmaker, Kalyanee Mam, seeks to engage human rights and law to create documentaries that are both captivating and inspiring. Kalyanee's work includes Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job (Director of Photography, Associate Producer, and Researcher) and Between Earth & Sky (Director, Producer, Cinematographer).
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“Today,” remarks Sav Samourn, “everyone needs land.” Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at Sundance, A River Changes Course by Kalyanee Mam spotlights three families living in contemporary Cambodia as they face hard choices forced by rapid development. Please join us and bear witness to the stunning beauty of this land that is so desired, and which is disappearing as industry moves in and renders traditional ways of life obsolete.