DER Documentary

K'Sai Chivit: Threads of Life

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by David A. Feingold
color, 20 min, 1994




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K'Sai Chivit: Threads of Life documents the ancient art form of Khmer silk weaving and its place in Cambodian society today. For over a thousand years, Cambodian weavers have been producing a variety of elegant silks, however current societal hardships Cambodians face have dramatically hindered this production. Organizations like UNESCO have began to take part in the revitalization of Khmer weaving, and have established training programs across the region to increase job opportunities and economic independence.

The film explores the story of Um Lao, an ordinary Cambodian girl who is seeking to improve her life and that of her family. Like many in her situation, improving her craft will lead to a greater opportunity for economic independence and an increase in self-esteem, as well as the successful preservation of this ancient heritage.

The story continues to show Um Lao and her master teacher, as they work side by side and travel from the bustling city to desolate villages, all while maintaining a sense of dignity and dedication that is necessary to revitalize this sacred art.

Suitable for all ages, and those with an interest in Asian Studies, Politics, Art, Class Status, Industry, Rural, Village & Urban Life, Gender Roles, and History.

Read Andy Brouwer's review of K'Sai Chivit: Threads of Life.


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