New Year Baby 0+

Socheata Poeuv, USA - KAM 2006, original version / Czech sub-subtitles, 74 min

For twenty years, she didn't doubt that her sisters and brother were her real siblings. When she discovered that they were in fact her cousins, she finds herself at the beginning of a quest to discover her family's past. Socheata Poeuv was born in a refugee camp beyond the Cambodian borders. Her parents had escaped there from the labour camps of the Khmer Rouge. Her cousins' parents were killed in one of these death camps. After growing up in the United States, she goes to Cambodia for the first time and travels around the country with her parents. The trip alternates between being an investigation of the past that no one wants to talk about and a tourist holiday. Surprisingly, it is during the relaxed "tourist" moments - when Socheata is not pressing her parents with questions - that her father and mother talk about what they went through. The protagonist-cum-director uses stylised animated sequences to fill the gaps where no photographs or archive footage can be found. The original animation is done by Sandra and Pavel Fierlinger. Like Socheata's family, these Czech emigrants have also experienced a new beginning in a strange land.

 

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