VIFF 2013 review: A River Changes Course
At first, Kalyanee Mam’s beautifully shot verité film feels anthropological, documenting the way Cambodian families plant and harvest rice, or ply the murky Tonle Sap River for fish. But then it subtly takes you somewhere you hadn’t expected, into a deeply unsettling look at the way the country is transforming: with garment factories buying up farming land and the fish disappearing from the river, the teens we follow over a few years can’t hope to stay home and live by age-old traditions. Whether it’s images of toddlers digging with sticks for wild potatoes or kids being yanked out of school to help gut the day’s catch, it’s hard to think of another film that so adeptly reveals the real, physical labour that comes with poverty.
Cinematheque, October 1 (8:30 p.m.) and 7 (10 a.m.); SFU, October 2 (3:30 p.m.).