Kathryn Lejeune & Janna Watkins
YEAR 33 tells the story of Cambodia’s burgeoning art revival as seen in the day to day lives of three young, Khmer artists. For centuries, Cambodia was known for its rich artistic culture. Then, in 1975, a communist regime called the Khmer Rouge took over the country and for nearly 5 years instituted a genocide, killing 90% of their artists and intellectuals. But where there is determination there is hope, and where there is hope there is progress. Today, Cambodia’s next generation is standing up with resilience, pushing to discover themselves by integrating ancient techniques with contemporary art. This revival can be seen from the largest theaters down to the smallest back alleys and is nothing short of astounding. It is innovative, exciting, and new, while also completely true to the Khmer culture. We peek into the lives of each character for an intimate glimpse into the realities artists face in one of the poorest countries in the world. These hardworking artists exemplify the dedication needed to catalyze change, surmounting a myriad of obstacles from their past, present, and future.