Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Cause of Progress

The Cause of Progress Film Trailer from Little Ease Films on Vimeo.

About a year ago, I traveled to Siem Reap to monitor the trials at Chi Kreng community, which placed me on a "human rights bus" with a few folks, including an Irish filmmaker and an activist monk.  The filmmaker was making a documentary about forced evictions in Cambodia.  At the time, he had been living in Cambodia for a year, following these stories.  When I think about that trip now, I remember, more than anything else, feeling elated, emotionally-reactive, alive.

On Saturday, more than a year later, I saw a trailer for the film.  It showed at Meta House, amidst a lively crowd of Boeung Kak Lake residents, mothers and children - all of whom peered at the screen for shots of their daily lives.   

After the film, Gayla and Ethan both turned to me and asked me how I continued to work in this field.  Even though Ethan lives in Phnom Penh and has heard so much about these communities from my constant rants, the images really struck him. 

I've been seeing these images for over a year and a half now.  Out of  necessity, I've grown accustomed to them, perhaps even numb.  But something on Saturday evening, something about seeing it from another person's eyes, jerked at me and brought back the waves of overwhelming feelings that gripped me during my first months in Cambodia. 

In any case, The Cause of Progress tells the stories of three Cambodians caught up in forced evictions and development in Cambodia.  This is just a glimpse.  I believe the final cut will be very powerful.

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