Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children

While looking for something to watch in my Netflix queue last night I discovered a documentary I don't remember adding. "Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children." 
I wish I could make every American watch this film. I wish I could make every child who doesn't want to go to school watch this film. I wish I could make every person in an American prison watch this film. You don't know how good you have it until you have seen the deplorable, depressing conditions of the poorest people of Cambodia.
I spent a month volunteering in Cambodia with an NGO in Phnom Penh. It was not the NGO featured in this film. However, every word or scene in this documentary was exactly how I remember the country. (I was there in September 2011, the film was made in 2008.) The children picking through garbage, the way the poor are treated, the abuse the lower class continues on itself, the lack of help from the government, etc.
This film brought me to tears more than once as it reminded me of the children and families I met and worked with.
Cambodia is a beautiful country, in spite of its poverty and dark side. I hope to return to help them recover from their dark years and pull ahead into the more vibrant society it deserves to be.
I highly recommend this film. It's less than 1.5 hours long. It is heavy on subtitles so I would not show it to children under ten. But it is very well done and interesting. (And narrated by Megan Follows of Anne of Green Gables fame.)
This film is accurate and true. It did not exclude other images or scenes to skew the story or emotions. Every single child they interview and show could have been one of the children I worked with. I recognized the streets, the scenes, the garbage dump, and many of the buildings. If anything, I think they showed one child in too positive a light. (The girl who lived with her grandmother at the temple. That is incredibly uncommon and such an anomaly for monks to allow the woman and the children there, that I don't think they should have been included.)
Go watch it! And watch it with your families. You'll be better for it and respect and better recognize the blessings in your life!

Hey You! Check out my new novels, "You Heard It Here First" and the sequel "This Just In!"

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