The future is bleak, says ‘A Cambodian Spring’ director Chris Kelly

In the run up to its screening at this year’s FreedomFilmFest, Southeast Asia Globe speaks to the director of 2017 documentary A Cambodian Spring, which highlights the infamous land disputes of Boeung Kak Lake in Phnom Penh and charts the return of prominent opposition politician Sam Rainsy.

Filmed over a period of six years between 2007 and 2013, A Cambodian Spring focuses on land conflict issues in Cambodia as well as the country’s volatile political state. We are introduced to individuals such as the Venerable Sovath, a monk threatened with “defrocking” by his peers for assuming the role of a citizen journalist and being too politically active. Then there is Tep Vanny, who starts out as a young leader of a community at risk of losing their land and goes on to become one of Cambodia’s most vocal activists.

A Cambodian Spring will be screened at this year’s FreedomFilmFest, taking place in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, and running between 29 September and 6 October. The Venerable Sovath will be a guest of honour at the festival.

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