Cambodian Voices in the Bay
Directed/edited by Brandon Soun & filmed by immigrant filmmakers Ido Bartana and Nadim Badiee, Nowhere But Here is a new documentary produced by ARTogether and Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants, that shows the resiliency of Cambodian-American community despite all the hardships they have faced in the past 40 years. Centering on the family of matriarch Kanley Souet-Pich, the story follows the detention of her husband Roeun by ICE and Kanley’s community organizing efforts to fight back. With the story of this family, audiences learn about the Cambodian refugee experiences in the US, and the difficulties still endemic to this community as a result of systemic issues within the US refugee resettlement process.
The film documents Kanley’s growing community efforts to deliver food and PPE to the elders during the COVID-19 pandemic and teach them how to use Zoom for their weekly support groups. Described as the “unspoken hero” and the powerhouse of the household, the film traces the lives of Kanley’s daughters, centering on Moragaut and her involvement in the recent BLM and anti-ICE movements.
Cambodian Voices in the Bay is a journey to highlight the nuances and cultural richness of Cambodian culture and experience here in the Bay Area, promoting a human face for refugees that will counterbalance the deepening trend of xenophobia in our public discourse.