Cambodia: The forgotten temple of Banteay Chhmar

Jul 12, 2023 | Environmental, Nature, People, Videos

Deep in the jungle of Cambodia lies a jewel from the Khmer Empire – the temple of Banteay Chhmar. Half-devoured by nature and forgotten by most, the 800-year-old complex is slowly being rediscovered. To preserve and restore their temple, the village community has taken charge in an experiment unknown in Cambodia. Rice farmers, with almost no outside help, are fighting to save the temple using their strength alone.
Amidst the community are Sreymom and Sopeng, a young couple enthusiastically involved in the project. For them, the temple is a sacred place where they teach their daughters to respect the Buddha. The village’s annual cultural highlight is Bon Om Tuk, the water festival traditionally held on the water surrounding the temple, and it is one of the few tourist attractions in the area. The filmmakers get an up-close look at the ornate Khmer reliefs documenting daily life in an ancient civilization, eerie temple tunnels, and larger-than-life faces carved into towers that rival those at the world-famous Angkor Thom. In this documentary, experience the story of a community’s passion to save a cultural heritage site even as the ravages of time and nature threaten to undo it.

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David B