Wonder Woman and Kingdom of Wonder!

As usual, the blogging mood strikes me most when I feel disturbed by some phenomenon. This one is, of course, the recent commune elections of the so-called Kingdom of Wonder, Cambodia. Behold because I may sound a little political in this post. But the reflection is all yours to take as it’s inspired by the last DC fantasy I just watched: Wonder Woman!


Diana Prince

I just learned that her family name is masculinized by lead character, Steve. Comes what may, her main reason for leaving her comfort zone, Themyscira, is Ares. This latter character will be explained below! Diana, by all means, represents the “good” demi-goddess who defies all evils, especially influenced her main target, the god of war, and protects all life. In the near end, she almost abuses her own power over weaker human beings until she realizes “power is not the answer to war”.


The story is conceived in such a way that I could not believe in Ares’s existence among humans! To my surprise, he incarnates the unlikely form of those who are seeking for armistice. Yet, he meant this to lure human beings into his darker plot or complete destruction.

Why Cambodia?

Well, our Kingdom remains what we are today, as a result of chronic wars and fragile peace restoration. With the uncertain results of (every round of) elections, any politician could express any sentiment they wish to spread. For us, civilians, every pledge could be solidified into action. Most of us know who’s powerful enough to control or manipulate all this.

On one side, I’ve been grateful for the peace they’ve maintained. On the other, the message is confusing when war becomes their ultimate “propaganda” for voters. I’m not Superman or Wonder Woman. Nor do I take side of Ares. I’m just another human who seeks for enough love and peace to move things forwards. Some would argue we need occasional wars to balance out the human progress! OK, maybe I’m too naive to live up to this self-defending argument.

I think you may relate to this metaphor if you’ve followed our current situations close enough. Maybe you should let me know what you think of this correlation in the comments below this post?!

Rating: 09/10

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