Cert 15 126mins Stars 4
This horrifying documentary explores how Cambodia swapped the tyranny of Communism under Pol Pot for the wild west corruption of a UN-sanctioned free market democracy.
Following the collapse of the brutal Khmer regime, corporate and political corruption was fuelled by the World Bank injecting massive amounts of aid money for urban development.
The forced eviction of citizens from land they had held for generations lead to the ‘Cambodian spring’ of political protest, marked by street demonstrations and a violent response by the army and police.
Award-winning filmmaker Chris Kelly spent the six years shooting this debut feature, which charts the lead up to the country’s 2013 election crisis.
He centres the narrative around two ordinary mothers-turned-activist leaders and a Buddhist monk. All three suffer in different ways for taking a stand against the authorities and vested interests.
There’s no shortage of ambition in his offering a wide-ranging look at these under-reported events, and it makes for a frequently shocking and often compelling watch.