A young indigenous Bunong woman and her older brother spend one last day in their rural village in northeastern Cambodia, before an impending move to the capital city in search of a more prosperous life. While her brother is excited for the move, she senses a quiet desire to return to their long-gone village that was lost to the development of a nearby hydroelectric dam a few years earlier.
Original Title Chhngai Dach Alai Original Title (Khmer) ឆ្ងាយដាច់អាល័យ Year of production 2022 Length 24min Country Cambodia Shooting Format Digital 4K Aspect Ratio1.78:1 DialogueBunong, Khmer DirectorPolen Ly Producers Daniel Mattes, Davy Chou, Sophea Kim ProductionAnti-Archive Co-Production Kongchak Pictures Co-Producer Loy Te Writer Polen Ly CinematographerPolen Ly Editor Kavich Neang Sound Designer Vincent Villa First Assistant Director Ouch Lath Cast Bopha Oul, Phanny Loem
With Support From Singapore International Film Festival Sea-Shorts Film Grant Momo Film Co. International Rivers Ngo Cambodia Film Commission Cambodian Department Of Cinema And Cultural Diffusion
Director's Statement I started writing this film in 2017 while researching a documentary in a rural indigenous village facing the floods of a new hydropower dam built on the local river. Although they eventually resettled, some villagers still missed their ancestral land, where they felt independent and better connected to nature. The new resettlement site appeared to me as a place of conflict, between dreams of the future and memories of the past. These elements are reflected in the two characters of the film.