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  • Published
    March 23, 2011

    Sovanna Phum: the Shadow Puppet Theater

    Back in Phnom Penh on the search again for young Cambodian artists leading the way in creating a new cultural identity for Cambodia by reviving the old and fusing it with the new. First thing in the morning, Lauren and I took off in a tuk-tuk (a motor bike, called a ‘moto’ with an open cab of two wooden bench-like seats facing each other, and which can hold up to four passengers. It is covered by a colorful …

  • Published
    March 23, 2011

    Animators, fishermen, bloggers

    A day of goodbyes, unexpected surprises, and traveling. After three days at the exciting arts institute of Phare Ponleu Selpak a 15-year-old non-governmental organization established by Cambodian refugees in 1994 in the northwest city of Battambang, we packed up to leave. Before bracing ourselves for the rough six-hour ride to Phnom Penh for more research, filming and pre-production, we decided to pay a visit to …

  • Published
    March 23, 2011

    Leaders, entrepreneurs, fireworks on the Tonle Sap

    It’s Memorial Day in Cambodia, a national holiday, the day the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot was deposed by a coalition led by the Vietnamese. Cambodian flags lined the streets of Phnom Penh and the countryside. We celebrated it by a second visit to the Teuk Thla Dormitory Leadership Center for university women, also known as the Harpswell program. The Center was the inspiration of Alan Lightman (Einstein’s …

  • Published
    March 23, 2011

    Art from a different perspective

    Another long and productive day in Phnom Penh chasing down our story, interviewing young Cambodian artists who are creating a new cultural identity for their country, still emerging from a tragic legacy. That legacy was brought home to us by our first visit of the day: the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam), a 15-year old independent research institute whose mission is ‘memory and justice’ in documenting …

  • Published
    March 23, 2011

    The ancient and the modern

    In Phnom Penh we met Srey Pov, a 19-year-old first year university student, who practiced ancient Cambodian music, Smot, learning from a 63-year-old master. Every Sunday, Yan Borin gives Srey Pov a lesson in this complex funereal lament. The two sang in tandem, collapsing a 44-year age difference, and transporting us back 2,000 year, to the time of Buddha they say, in a one room apartment at the end of an alley …

  • Published
    March 23, 2011

    Cambodia plus 25

    In January, I went to Cambodia to research a documentary on young artists who are creating a new cultural identity in a country often still referred to as “the Killing Fields.” Thirty years ago, a cultural and population genocide under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia was halted; 25 years ago I first went to this country with Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes to produce a piece on the 10th anniversary of the end of …

  • Published
    December 23, 2010

    My Daughter the Wolf

    It was graduation day from pre-school, Santa Monica, May 1997. Eliza, my five-year-old, was graduating. Eager parents, precious but interesting kids, creative teachers. A preschool where many movie people wanted to enroll their children. I had managed to get Eliza in because we weren’t in the movies; we brought in some diversity. And there was the other more obvious element: Eliza was darker than most, she …

  • Published
    October 25, 2010

    On October’s Cusp

    Maybe you can see Through this dense fog White with the last days Of an Indian summer, Soft air gently lifts the flags Up and around their poles Like a painter’s brush strokes On his watercolor canvas. Sometime the stillness Holds the breath Of an autumn at bay. Marianna Edmunds has been a documentary journalist since 1981, working at CBS’ “60 Minutes,” PBS and the Discovery Network. She …

  • Published
    October 25, 2010

    After Mary Bok’s piece: 9.30.10

    Mary, Mary you fill us with awe and some full of sassy secrets, Hissed along skinny walls And long halls Winding down old stairs And then getting sucked upwards Into the skies of wonders and whispers Of days long past. Marianna Edmunds has been a documentary journalist since 1981, working at CBS’ “60 Minutes,” PBS and the Discovery Network. She has also taught at the Maine Media Workshops …

  • Published
    September 13, 2010

    Word Jumble (just for fun)

    Clumped words howl across the room, while pasteurized prose puts police whistles into worn-out smiles. Logs floating through a morass of pleasantries are only bones in the snow. A hand reaches for an apple in the basket and before teeth marks fracture its flesh, let the cheese be passed as a migrant word so the snap can be shot. Where is the knife? We allowed the bones to be …

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