A River Changes Course

The lives of three Cambodian families dramatically change in subtle, devastating ways; fish catches get smaller, crops produce less rice, and the forests are disappearing. Cambodia is captured in haunting detail and each family is forced to make sacrifices to survive. The tough terrain is matched by their resilience, captured with humanity and warmth in this Sundance 2013 prize-winning documentary.


Kalyanee Mam





Running Time

83 mins 

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SFGFF Film Program:

River_Changes_Course.jpegIs money really the future we strive for? This poignant documentary encapsulates the modern dilemma for every man, woman and child faced with the toughest question; what will I do to support my family? The lives of these Cambodian families are dramatically changing in subtle but devastating ways; fish catches get smaller, lack of rain producing less rice, and the once lush and abundant forests are disappearing. The incredible variety of Cambodia’s natural landscapes is captured with haunting detail as each family is forced to make a sacrifice - to debt, for family, to survive - and each generation mourns its own frustrated aspirations. This Sundance 2013 award-winning documentary reveals the stark choices for families living on the edge of survival, children forced to work, to forage for food rather than go to school,their resilience in the face of environmental changes and man-made destruction captured with humanity and warmth.

Screening: June 01, 2013 at David Brower Center

Discussion with: Kalyanee Mam, director; Jason Rainey, Executive Director, International Rivers