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Visions of freedom close film festival


A still from Sao Sopheak’s film, The Quiet Movement. Photograph: supplied

Meta House’s month-long Free Your Mind Festival ended on Tuesday night with a showcase of documentaries and performance poetry.

More than 4,000 people came to watch film screenings and take part in workshops, discussions and cultural performances over the course of the festival, which started in early July.

The finale screened a collection of documentaries about the meaning of freedom to different people.

The young Cambodian filmmaker Sao Sopheak introduced her film, The Quiet Movement, which portrays the life of a Khmer-Vietnamese nun who is mistreated by others in the pagoda.

The nun uses her faith in the mantra of ‘what goes around, comes around’ to find a sense of peace.

Ms Sopheak, said: “The Quiet Movement will present something which is different to our usual view of what happens in a pagoda.

“It shows the real peace and freedom of mind that one should have to overcome the fear," she said.

Also screened was Down Syndrome Girl, a film by Marc Eberle which tells the story of a girl who is locked in a cage whenever her parents are away. The producer said he was shocked by her plight whilst he was filming the documentary.

“The film is made to change the way people treat her and lets go out of the culture or tradition that push people down from having their own freedom and limit their expression rather than liberates them.”

The organiser, Nico Mesterhar, said he was pleased with the success of the festival and hoped it would tour around various parts of the country.

He said: “The festival was very successful and went beyond our expectation; not only in term of the large audience, but also the contents.

“We will bring the package maybe to Kampot, Battambang, Siem Reap. Let’s see how far we can go.

“I hope this can help young Cambodians to create their own hobbies such as: taking photographs, blogging, surfing the internet, and anything that can help to free their mind.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Lim Meng Y at



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