Saturday, January 19, 2008

Touching the soul

If I can recover from a debilitating bout of diarrhea and vomiting - you really didn't want to hear that did you - I will attend the Meta House film night this evening (starting at 7pm), which is showing a brand new feature-length documentary called To Touch the Soul. The film's director Ryan Goble will be present at the screening, having made the trip back to Cambodia armed with sixteen computers for children featured in the documentary.
Here's the blurb on the film: Its a 70-minute documentary that follows American University Professor Carlos Silveira, an artist educator and social activist, who wants to bring a sense of joy to impoverished children in Cambodia affected by HIV/AIDS. He recruited 27 American university students to join him as part of a pilot program in using drawing and painting to help these children express their wishes and desires for their futures. As Carlos and the students grapple with the realities of a culture much different from their own, a language they don't understand, art projects that don't go as planned and a three-week deadline, they form a bond with the children. Through these young Cambodian mentors—all of them abandoned by society—the Americans empower their own social activism and learn the true meaning of kindness, selflessness, courage and community. Told from Carlos’ and six of his students’ perspectives through a mix of spoken (voice-over) diary entries, interviews and interaction with the children as they create art projects together, this documentary shows that even the smallest attempt at making a difference can have life-changing consequences for all the people involved. The film also highlights the growing problem of the 77,000 children in Cambodia who have become orphans due to their parents dying from AIDS, a population expected to grow to 108,700 over the next five years. Yet, the audience is left with a sense of hope that adequate funding, proper food and medical care, as exemplified through the featured NGOs Little Sprouts and Little Folks, will allow these children to thrive until hopefully there is a cure for this unforgiving disease. Link; Film website.
On the subject of films on Cambodian issues, another documentary, Year Zero: Story of a Khmer Rouge Soldier, is in post production and is hoping to snag Hollywood actress Sharon Stone as narrator, following the lead of Rain Falls From Earth, which has Sam Waterston doing the narration. Sam of course will always be remembered for his portrayal of Sydney Schanberg in The Killing Fields movie. Both Year Zero and Rain Falls have yet to be released for public viewing. Links: Year Zero; Rains Falls From Earth.

1 comment:

Vy said...

Quite often you got stomach problem, should be careful of where you eat.