What A Shitty Moment – A Clip on Sanitation!

Please bear with me on this post as I am going to review this time around a short clip on sanitation! Check it out and tell me how you feel about it. And I am going to tell you what I think about it!

Looks disgusting, doesn’t it? You can’t view it while eating? But here are the things I like about this video.

3S: Short, Straight, Sharp

As you can see, it is meant to be an educational spot about the importance about toilets. So you do not want to spend time over Internet a long preaching movie! That is why I love short films and annually support Chaktomuk Short Film Festival. I call it straight in that it recalls how ordinary people live their lives with such useful closets. Do I need to show you how sharp its message is? Just in case, the consequence of pooping without latrines is seen through the shame the lady is bearing in front of her guests!

Sanitation Message

It is important to notice that our elder lady is presumed to be somewhat rich from her dresses. Yet, when it comes to sanitation, she still prefers the traditional way to get relaxed. This tells us that appearance means nothing until one behaves. Besides, her neglected behavior not only affects her image, but also her family’s. This effect reinforces the statement that hygiene leads to both cleanliness and positive image of oneself and their family.

Personal Anecdote about Sanitation

Back in real life, I have been working at JCI on a community project to build toilets for better health. In our founding year, we went on to interview target beneficiaries. Of the four households we visited, one’s owner told us how difficult it was for them to have toilets built, while she wears a gold ring talking to us. This obvious case proves that our look seems to be more valued than our health. Believe it or not, it takes tremendous efforts to switch this mindset. I’d say the compromise would be for her to trade off her gold ring with a cheaper one and some cash to have that rest room built.

And you? How important do you think toilets or latrines are to your life?

Rating: 09/10

First They Killed My Father – A Girl’s Eyes to Revisit Cambodian Dark Times

I only heard about First They Killed My Father, from social media, to be produced in Cambodia back then. Little did I know the production affected those colleagues closest to me like Rithea. Until recently, I didn’t expect to be invited to the premiere of this true-event-based movie. Without boasting, I was even authorized to list down other guests I find appropriate for this screening! Despite all the “low-key” arrangements, all I could guess was it was going to be another Khmer Rouge movie. But I didn’t anticipate the different angle and intention of the director, Angelina Jolie, in great chemistry with its author, Ung Luang.

Source: www.facebook.com/AngelinaJ1975
Source: www.facebook.com/AngelinaJ1975

Strategic Production

Many of my friends and acquaintances kept asking me if they could pay to see it. But the first screenings only happened in Cambodia within this February. So if you want to see it at your “leisure”, it should be on Netflix, a worldwide subscription-based movie app. It is also the company that has invested in this novel-inspired work. The truth is, Cambodia is not yet open enough to this digital platform. So make the dots between Angie and this movie by yourself! Besides, while this project already benefited Cambodian film crew, I only hope the next one will see them on bigger credits!

Innocent Approach

The beginning of the story is quite predicable, as most Cambodian millenials learned about this dark regime from History. What was unknown is how all the scenes follow the eyes of an innocent girl, who was the author in her pre-teenage. No much dialog is involved. Only the action of adults who seem to dominate her own will. Maybe it goes to show how Cambodian children were deprived of better chances in that manipulating period.

Past Face-Off

By past face-off, I meant two consequences of this auto-genocide: one near and the other far. The near face-off is dramatically highlighted in a final scene, in which a former Khmer Rouge soldier was mob-attacked and punished. After this attack is spared, our protagonist is left to face him alone. What would you do if you were her? The far consequence is how Cambodian survivors learn to live their lives, despite or along with this historic trauma. Would they forgive, but never forget? Would younger generations learn to accept or ignore it?

After all, I’d say “First They Killed My Father” is daring in its approach for attempting to revisit Cambodian History from fresh eyes. I bet you’ll never look at our past the same way again, after understanding about the little Luang. And I may need to read the book to feel the differences and learn some missing parts?!

Rating: 08/10

My Angels of the Year 2016

Expecting my personal kind of year review? Sorry to disappoint you. But this year, I’d rather reflect on people with positive impact to my life, here called “angels”. If you don’t find your names in this post, no hard feeling! I may include you in my 2017 review!

My wife and daughter

Sounds classic, doesn’t it? Of course, it does. Yet, I have been myself amazed with every moment we’ve grown throughout this year. Sreyneath has become the shared centerpiece of our lives. Living with her mother, I believe she’s been in magic hands. Why are they my angels? For them, I’ve quit my “egocentric zone”. How? Read on…

Phanit and Sreyneath

My sisters

I know I’ve rarely exposed Yen and Len to my online and social circle. Yet, as the saying goes, behind a XYZ man are great women. Their greatness lies in their financial backup of the lifestyle I’ve “camouflaged”. Can you imagine two vegetable business ladies earn enough to afford a mid-class living of the entire family and beyond? For that effect, they have wittingly inherited our late mother, who has now gone on to become a heavenly angel, I believe.

My sisters

Sokunthea

Believe it or not, I’ve known him as a total stranger when we attended an ECCC hearing back in 2008. A year later, we became affiliated with Kon Khmer Koun Khmer. Little did I expect him to return from his overseas studies to benefit this film collective. Thanks to his support, we’ve managed to secure a large grant for Chaktomuk Short Film Festival (CSFF) this year from Winrock.

Sokunthea

Oudom

Some people came into our lives for a short while and left us. But Oudom returned to me in an unimaginable circumstance. He has saved me/us in “Mother’s Blood” project and now “Pram Ang“. Despite our different lifestyles, what we have in common is our passion for social causes. I still appreciate his community outreach, regardless of benefits or risks he might take, with or without JCI.

Oudom

B. Sila

If you have hung out with me for long enough, his name may sound familiar with you. It is one thing to look up to him as my business inspiration. It is another to work for/in his business, which is PuPrum Entertainment. Financial stability aside, this is the kind of business/job I’ve ever dreamed of: helping local productions maximize the profits and values of their movies. So the chance he gave me earns him a divine spot in my heart.

Jin

I’ve known since last year, through FilmCamp Trip to Areng. Some acquaintances may whisper the wish to help you out when needed. But so far, he has gone the extra mile and saved me from lots of technical and organizational tasks. He doesn’t care whether or not our common cause in CSFF offers him any incentive. Thus, when you run into someone like him, you gotta keep them! For how long? Time will tell.

Jin

Rady

He is another example of the returned blessings. We went to the same high school back in the old days. He called me months ago to ask for my business consultancy, based on my former name card in DMI. Oddly enough, I ended up seeking for his financial advice instead, thanks to his loan business background! The best part was that he refused to loan me any cent, yet is willing to restore my financial situation, with all the time he has, especially by managing the funding of Kon Khmer Koun Khmer.

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Up to this point, you may wonder why I call them “angels”. In fact, without them, my 2016 would have turned out even more miserable. Oops, let us think positive now for 2017. And, of course, with or without these angels, my life goes on!

Happy and Prosperous New Year!!!

 

PS: I do not own the rights to those images.