This is an excellent film about the ecology of life in Cambodia, which examines the interconnection between the forest and water systems in the country, and how this is affecting development.
One of the good things about the film are the excellent animations which explain how forestry is connected to the water cycle, which applies not just here in Cambodia, of course, but everywhere else too.
Having explained how all these things are connected, it then looks specifically at the Cambodian situation, first by examining the Battambang district in northern Cambodia where unrestricted development of the forests have basically ruined the farmers, who depend on steady and predicable rainfall, which is now disrupted.
The film then moves its attention to the Tonle Sap basin, and the areas under similar threat there, and shows how, by ignoring the people who live in those areas, livelihoods and communities are being put under pressure, and although short term profits may emerge, long term it is also bad for business.
The film however is not simply an out and out attack on development, it indeed recognises the need for development as the people have a right to certain goods and services which cannot be provided without it, but argues in favour of community led, transparent and sustainable development, which puts people, not companies, first.
The film was made by Allan Michaud, and was funded by Dr. Ida Theilade, a researcher from Denmark, but it is aimed at educating a Cambodia audience first, and the language of narration is Khmer (with English subtitles). Don’t let that put you off though, as anyone can gain a much better level of understanding of ecology by watching this film.
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