The cast of Still I Strive
Chamruoen Chhat, Cham Heng, Chham Heng, Kunthea Jin
What is Still I Strive about?
Still I Strive is a story of transcendence through compassion, unity and hope. At one orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the performing arts are the path to healing and transformation. Guided by their matriarch Peng Phan, a renowned actress in her own right, the children aspire to achieve one of the highest honors in Cambodian society, to perform in front of Princess Bopha Devi as a symbol of their culture and heritage. Interspersed throughout the documentary are narrative film sequences featuring the children as actors. With an epic battle at the opening, a chase scene through the forest, horror sequences, and melodrama, the narrative parallels the documentary of the children's tragic back stories. By weaving facts with fiction, reality with dreams, the film reveals where these lines ultimately merge by its conclusion. The journey mirrors the travails of the nation as it struggles to leave behind the unprecedented destruction of human dignity, the tragic legacy of the Khmer Rouge era. Together, they learn to overcome the past and pave the way to the future by being faithful to the present.