Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bare Hands and Wooden Limbs

A brand new hour-long documentary called Bare Hands and Wooden Limbs: Healing, Recovery and Reconciliation in Cambodia by director Alison McMahan (pictured) explores the relationships between former enemies working together to make possible the community of Veal Thom, a cooperative village composed primarily of disabled veterans, from both sides of the war, and their families. The amputees of Veal Thom cope with extreme poverty, the elements, poor health, lack of education and lack of resources, though by working together the amputees make their village blossom. The film is currently being shown at film festivals in the United States. Read more about the film at the official website.

Its the second film by director Alison McMahan on the villagers of Veal Thom. Her previous film, Cambodia: Living with Landmines showed the human cost of landmines and the courage and persistence of the villagers as they build a new life for themselves. The village of Veal Thom is also featured in the book, Cambodia Now, by author Karen J Coates. Her book reveals the story of amputee Bun Na and his journey to overcome a life of begging on Phnom Penh's streets to his successful integration into the village of Veal Thom.

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