8th DMZ Docs(2016)
I AM DOCU
In a suburb of Phnom Penh, where Cambodia’s textile industry is flourishing, Ty Sophanith lives with his wife and his five years old son. The young workers, former peasant from the countryside of Kampong Chhnang, were hired by the factory, supplier to the well-known brands in the West, but the couple lives in starvation wage. Sophanith was wounded by the police bullets during a demonstration for their better working conditions, The Cambodian workers’ demonstration is getting violent.
Globalization makes many things possible, but paradoxically, makes more things impotent. The value of human is replaced or erased fastest in those two extremes. Cambodia is called the Asian paradise for multinational fashion brand industry, but the people within the paradise live in struggles, not guaranteed of any kind of worth. While working 24-hour, producing hundreds of clothes and working for nothing for months, what they get is vicious repress of the factory along with governmental authority as well as sudden lockout instead of proper salary. Sophanith participated in the protest to request better working condition, but he had to endure bullet wound shot by a police and cold eyes seeing the protest as failure. The voice of workers is still out on the society and the camera quietly follows their struggle and Sophanith’s daily life. The director is not swayed by militant emotion around the scene; she just walks at their speed and finally makes a way of the voices for the society that no one listens to before. delicately captures their expressions and the factory landscape to portray a journey of workers’ struggle as well as their portraits living in the era of neo-liberalism under the globalized economic development. [Choi Min-ah]
Red Wedding (2012)My Yesterday Night (2010) There are nearly 700 000 Cambodian young farmers left their homes villages to work in the thriving factories as cheap workforce for international textile brands. Genuine grievances on minimum wages have perennially been ignored.I had the opportunity to meet Ty Sophanith during labor protests that took place over several months in late 2013 and early 2014. Only after being wounded by police bullets during a peaceful wage-increase demonstration, Sophnaith and family agreed to testify and to be filmed to show to the world the real situation of Cambodian labors’ life.I choose to tell Sophanith’s story to humanize the issue of poor and deplorable living conditions of Cambodian textile workers. This film is, for me, a unique means to reverse the role of the victim.
Contribution / World Sales Chan Lida