In a country bereft of opportunity, and often hope, dreams can offer sustenance to young minds. In Cambodia, that dream often manifests in the desire to dance with the Royal Ballet, and every year hundreds of youth compete for just 50 places in the cast.
The Ballet disappeared in the 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge actively sought to wipe out all artists and intelligentsia in order to return to a strictly agrarian society. But a few teachers survived, such as one character in this film, Koun, who trains new generations so that the Ballet can have a future.
The film follows children undergoing the audition process, and is an examination of a culture looking to rebound from near devastation. Thankfully, though modern tourism and mass media threaten to again undermine Cambodia’s culture, new help has been found in sources such as UNESCO and others. Partners: Zed (Paris), with TF1 (France), Ushuaia TV (France), Equator TV (US), Equator HD (Canada), YLE (Finland), TV3 Catalunya (Spain), ETB (Spain), TV5 Monde (France)
Aired: wrapped, not aired
Length: 52 minutes, part of the 13-part Living Cultures series
Rights available: All worldwide, excluding partner broadcaster regions