Bong Thom [The Brother]
Heng lives with his close knit deeply Buddhist family in rural Cambodia, who work hard struggling as farmers. At 6, he lost both his arms in a landmine explosion. Now, as a teenager hanging with the wrong crowd, and no future at the farm, his mother sends him to his older brother, Chana, who makes romantic music videos in the bustling city of Phnom Penh. Here, with a bossy brother, amid a So-Me, “wanna-be” culture, Heng must make it.
A film about a family who are living the consequences of war which ended decades ago.
AWARDS & NOMINATIONS:
In Nordic Documentary Competition - Göteborg Film Festival
In Norwegian Documentary Competition - Human IDFF
Being from a war-torn country and dealing with post-war themes has been my focus and a great challenge. I visited Cambodia in 2011 when I was researching what was to become the film Nowhere to Hide (2016) which ended up following a male nurse and his family in Iraq. The trip to Cambodia opened my eyes, and also devastated me. On that visit I had met our protagonist Heng and his family. The images of the young severely injured boy stayed with me, an illustration of what it’s like living the consequences of a war that ended decades ago.
What I found out about Heng exceeded all my expectations for amputees in the developing world. Heng had escaped an almost predestined fate. How was this possible? In 2017, after spending a year of research and gaining trust within the community, I spent 3-4 years filming with unique intimate ,SAS access to Heng, his older brother Chana, their parents, and friends. What I uncovered was a fantastic insight into a postwar era through this family’s story, where war is still present despite many years of peace; a family drawn between the old and new Cambodia.
Format & Length
Duration | 84 min / Broadcast Hour
Format | UHD, DCP
Aspect Ratio | 16:9
Sound | 5.1 Surround, Stereo
Languages | Khmer with English & Norwegian subtitles
Production | Ten Thousand Images
Mette Cheng-Munthe Kaas
Distribution | East Village Entertainment
Mette Cheng Munthe-Kaas
Corinne van Egeraat - ZIN Documentaire (the Netherlands)
Marina-Evelina Cracana - Film and Tell (Sweden)
Oscar Hedin - Film and Tell (Sweden)
2nd Unit Cinematographer
Grade Post Production
Ten Thousand Images AS
Norwegian Film Institute
Netherlands Film Fund
Fritt Ord Foundation
Swedish Film Institute
Fond for Lyd og Bilde