The land of the wandering souls

Rithy Panh
France 1999 | 100 Min. | BetaSP, OmU

In 1999, Alca­tel laid South­east Asia’s first opti­cal fibre cable. It cross­es Cam­bo­dia and links up with the cable coming from Europe. The instal­la­tion of this cable run­ning through their coun­try pro­vid­ed employ­ment for many Cam­bo­di­ans on these work­sites, which lasted sev­er­al months. The Cam­bo­di­an film­mak­er Rithy Panh has fol­lowed some of these people, who embody and exem­pli­fy the con­tra­dic­tions which must be over­come to bring their coun­try back to life. The film explores the issues of employ­ment and of the future, in a coun­try where the future often takes the basic form of find­ing food for the present.