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A River Changes Course

HD   Unrated

Kalyanee Mam

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About the Movie

"We've worked so hard on this land,” says Sav Samourn. “And now they've come to destroy it all. Sooner or later it will all be gone."“ Deep in the jungle, Sav Samourn struggles as large companies encroach and “progress” claims the life-giving forests. She discovers there’s little room for wild animals, ghosts–and the home she has always known. In a fishing hamlet, Sari Math must quit school to help support his family. But as the fish catch dwindles, Sari and his family find their livelihood threatened. In a village, Khieu Mok must leave to seek work in a Phnom Penh factory to help pay her family’s debts. But city life proves no better, and Khieu struggles between her need to send money home and her duty to be with her loved ones. From Cambodia’s forests to its rivers, from its idyllic rice fields to the capital’s pulsing heart, forces of radical change are transforming the landscape of the country–and the dreams of its people. In this stunningly shot vérité portrait captured over a period of two years, Kalyanee Mam, cinematographer for the Academy Award–winning documentary Inside Job, achieves profound intimacy with three Cambodian families struggling to maintain their traditional way of life while the modern world closes in around them. This beautifully photographed documentary is a tribute to their struggle and the struggles of all families coping with the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 8
  • Fresh: 8
  • Rotten: 0
  • Average Rating: 7.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Instead of delving into the politics of their plight, Ms. Mam delivers a universal story. – Nicole Herrington, New York Times, Oct 3, 2013

Fresh: Mam's camera work is exquisite in its immediacy and agility. – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, Oct 10, 2013

Fresh: For the most part, the narrative here feels generational, representative, rather than invested in the specific incidents of specific lives. – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, Oct 1, 2013

Fresh: Kalyanee Mam's documentary feature reveals the anguishing sense of loss behind a profusion of ravishingly beautiful images. – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, Oct 10, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes
A River Changes Course
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2012

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