Cinema Libre Studio

opening eyes and minds • one film at a time

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Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children

DVD Release: 2009

  • Grades: 9-12
  • College/University
  • Adult
  • Asian Studies
  • Cambodia
  • Education
  • Developing World
  • History
  • International Studies
  • Poverty
  • Sustainable Development

If you are interested in having the film's director, Heather Connell, appear for a speaking engagement at your event, please contact:

Beth Portello
Cinema Libre Studio
Phone: 818-349-8822

small voices: the stories of cambodia's children

Life through their eyes will change yours forever...

  • Length: 83 min
  • Written and Directed by Heather E. Connell
  • Produced by Heather E. Connell
  • Original Music by Sherene Strausberg
  • Cinematographer: Arthur Lee
  • Editor: Jason Rosenblatt
  • Sound Editor: Brian Espinoza
  • Narrated by Megan Follows

Thirty years ago, the Khmer Rouge perpetrated genocide upon their own people. Attempting to create a classless society, they killed nearly 1.7 million people, primarily the adult, educated and artistic population. Today, the children born to the uneducated, poverty-stricken survivors face a bleak future. With the farming lands in the countryside decimated and little opportunity in the cities, thousands of childrenare struggling to survive.

Small Voices Abandoned by destitute family members, or forced to work in order to support themselves and relatives, these children are left vulnerable and exposed. On the streets of the capitol city of Phnom Penh, there are over 12,000 children living, begging and working. Through their eyes, their day-to-day heartbreaks, dangers and hopes come to life.

After Saigon fell, the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia and killed 1.7 Million people in a former high school also known as S21 (see a documentary on the subject elsewhere on this site) that also included rape, torture and a living hell. Now, you have children (12,000+ at this time as you read) living in poverty near waste dumps going through the trash to find something to survive, to sell for money and getting sick and worse in the process.

  • CLS Catalog: CLS1085
  • DVD ISBN: 1-59587-120-9
"Filmmaker Heather E. Connell takes viewers deep into the streets of Cambodia in order to document the lives and dreams of a group of children whose births mark an important historical milestone. These children are the first generation born to the survivors Khmer Rouge, and their often-difficult journey reflects the state of Cambodia itself as it struggles to rebuild itself both socially and economically."
Tracie Cooper, All Movie Guide
"They are the survivors from the legacy that ruined their world and continues to do so. Here, an organization tires to reverse that trend by offering to sponsor children in a program so they can learn and be taken care of to have a possible better future."
Nicholas Sheffo,
  • Buy $150 - Non-Profit/Grassroots-DVD
  • Buy $150 - Non-Profit/K-12/Public Libraries Public Performance Rights
  • Buy $250 - University/College-DVD
  • Buy $250 - University/College/Other Public Performance Rights

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dvd extras

English Subtitles, Director's Production Blog, Updates on the Children, Photo Gallery.

awards, festivals, and screenings
  • Gold Medal New York International Film and Video Awards (2009)
  • Big Muddy Film Festival - Carbondale, IL (2009)
  • New Orleans Film Festival – New Orleans, LA (2008)
  • 2nd Place Best Documentary - Rhode Island International Film Festival (2008)
  • Columbia University
  • Notre Dame
  • Many more...