Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged Cambodia

World and Town

It is really tough to review Gish Jen’s World and Town. The novel is, on the one hand, drawn through an interesting narrative focalizer who often takes on the “wordspeak” of the characters that the narrator observes the representational terrain through. So when the narrative is concentrating on the Cambodian American teenager Sophy, we have the narrator constantly employing words such as like and whatever. Typical teenspeak, we might say. On the other hand, the novel has an exceedingly complex and varied topography in terms of its character webs, where Hattie Kong, one of the ostensible protagonists, is looking after a new family that has moved to the area, a small town in the New England area known as Riverlake (somewhat reminiscent of the continuing movement of ethnic minority populations to such towns as Lowell, MA).

Le Papier ne Peut pas Envelopper la Braise (Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers)

[Paper Cannot Wrap up Embers] provides a numbing portrait of the everyday lives of young Cambodian women who have been forced into prostitution in the aftermath of decades of war and genocide.

Lonely Planet Southeast Asia: On A Shoestring

Published just two months before the cyclone disaster in Myanmar (Burma), questions of safety regarding whether or not to go to the politically and ethically wrought country are best answered on the Lonely Planet website.


Underpass is a fifteen-minute film about a Cambodian family (survivors of the “Killing Fields”) trying to survive in the USA while also assisting an illegal immigrant, possibly from Mexico. It is about trying to stay sane in a violent world. It is about trying to play by the rules, and still be humane. It is about living with your nightmares. There is a brilliant colorful thread, which runs throughout this story – the art of the main character, Sann. His art is illegal. He paints pictures under a bridge, hence the title Underpass. What he paints is both beautiful and horrible.

Bare Hands and Wooden Limbs: Healing, Recovery and Reconciliation in Cambodia

The documentary is a shocking, consciousness-raising and eyes-opening movie. It is the true story of people living in post-war Cambodia, who try to re-build their country after years of dictatorship and fear. It is shows how they prepare the land to build new houses, how they clean the ground from millions of landmines and, finally, how they managed to make both ends meet. The viewer sees how the people learn new professions to survive and earn the living – some learn how to deal with livestock, some learn how to plough and others make tools.