|The Storm Makers
A film by Guillaume Suon
66 minutes, documentary, color, Khmer w/ English subtitles, 2015
The Storm Makers is a chilling exposť of Cambodia's human trafficking underworld. More than half a million Cambodians work abroad and a staggering third of these have been sold as slaves. Most are young women, held prisoner and forced to work in horrific conditions, sometimes as prostitutes, in Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan.
The film weaves the story of Aya, a young peasant sold into slavery at age 16, with that of two powerful traffickers (known as "storm makers" for the havoc they wreak) who use deception to funnel a stream of poor and illiterate people across the country's borders. French-Cambodian filmmaker Guillaume Suon presents an eye-opening look at the cycle of poverty, despair and greed that fuels this brutal modern slave trade.
"A harrowing, uncompromising portrayal of human trafficking in Cambodia." - Washington City Paper
"9 out of 10. Revelatory, frequently breathtaking... In its focus on trauma's lasting effects, 'The Storm Makers' is of a piece with producer Rithy Panh's other work, including the 'The Missing Picture' and 'S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine.' Like Panh's films, 'The Storm Makers' underscores how the war and genocide produce layers of legacy, not least the crushing poverty that over-determines an unthinkable lack of options." - PopMatters
"Some stories are painful to hear, but need to be told: this is one of them. Modern day slavery still exists, and 'The Storm Makers' takes us to Cambodia, tracing the lives of three people involved in the terrible system that puts such a low value on human lives; mainly those of young, uneducated women." - Barbican Centre