Programmer: Helene Ouvrard is a festival programmer based in Vientiane.
Programme Description: Music and dance form the common thread of life experiences for the people of Laos.
A portrait of a Lao traditional singer in her 60s named Khamlek, the film follows her life as she finds escape in music. As a child, she sought comfort in a singing style of Luang Prabang known as Khap Thoum, Arn Nungseu (literally “book-reading”) as a means of avoiding her predatory stepfather. Illiterate until her 50s, she learned all the songs by hearrt and carved out a living from it. The years have seen her experience two divorces and abandonment by her older sons. It is music that makes it all bearable when she sheds her current day job as a cleaner for her nightly vocation as a performer.
A young woman stands up to bullying through dance.
A mysterious and beautiful young woman named Hongfa arrives in a village in Northern Laos shared by the Khmu and Hmong communities. In an effort to bridge the divide between two cultures, she looks to the power of song in affecting change.