A River Changes Course
Kbang tuk tonle

Film Info
Premiere Status:Cambodia
Year of Prod:2012
Running Time:83
Original Language:Khmer
Awards:GGA Documentary Feature Contender
dir:Kalyanee Mam
prod:Ratanak Leng
Kalyanee Mam
cam:Kalyanee Mam
editor:Chris Brown
mus:David Mendez
source:The Film Collaborative
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A former child refugee from the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror in the 1970s, filmmaker Kalyanee Mam returns to her native land to create a vivid, compassionate and moving picture of the vanishing world of rural Cambodian farmers and fishermen. With a patient and attentive camera, Mam tells the story of three different families struggling to maintain their traditional ways of life as the modern world closes in around them. Mam’s cinéma vérité style is enhanced by the deep intimacy and trust she has gained from her subjects after over two years of filming in remote locations. With elegance, warmth and an eye for the natural beauty and rhythms of daily village life, Mam reveals how the rice farmers outside Phnom Penh are no longer able to make a living, the fishermen are catching fewer and fewer fish each year and the farmers of the northeastern jungles are running out of arable land due to increasing deforestation. Just as the Tonle Sap River shifts seasonally and changes its course, the ancient traditions and lifestyles of rural Cambodians are being lifted and washed away in the currents of the new century. This gentle and visceral film transcends the studies and statistics to present a deeply personal portrait of the cost of these changes.
-Gustavus Kundahl

This is a Cinema by the Bay Film.

Additional Information

Kalyanee Mam

A refugee of the Khmer Rouge who fled Cambodia for the United States with her family in the late 1970s, Kalyanee Mam graduated from UCLA School of Law before deciding to merge her passion for photography and human rights in her first film, Between Earth & Sky (2009). She also worked on the Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job (2010) as a cinematographer and producer. A River Changes Course film won the 2013 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary.