The Girls of Phnom Penh

'The Girls of Phnom Penh', which was filmed over six months in 2008 and 2009, follows three victims of Cambodia's virginity trade as they struggle to endure the ordeals of their daily existence.

Telling their own story in their own words, what grows increasingly evident in the discourse of the film is the extraordinary bond that exists between the three girls - like sisters united against all the horrors the world throws at them.

Srey Leak was deflowered by a stranger when she was 14. Like many Cambodian men, he believed her virginity would increase his good health and virility. Her family used the money to pay her mother’s medical bills. Her two friends, Me Nea and Cheata, opted to sell themselves to support their families and young children.

The film paints a portrait of ordinary girls, little more than children, who share the same preoccupations, insecurities and vanity of teenagers the world over, yet nightly make the greatest of sacrifices. In the clutches of an unforgiving spiral of debt and ignominy, it is a mark of the girls’ strength as well as their desperation that they each maintain they would do the same, given their time over again.

The film features a stunning original score by
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

Please visit the film's official website
here for further news on the girls.

To make a donation please visit:
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Produced and Directed by Matthew Watson
Khem Sophal Matthew Watson
Editor Cinzia Baldessari
Music Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
Sound Designer Gernot Furhmann
Assistant Producer
Jemila Twinch
Production Assistant
A Sva Khmoa
Driver Hang Ratana
Translators Nati Khmer
Music Recording
Jake Jackson
Music Editor Gerard McCann
Executive Producer
Jo Rogers
Legal Affairs Joanna Johnson Amie O'Mahony
Production Accountant
Alison Kyte
Production Office Coordinator
Naomi Leon Sarah Finch
Creative Executive
Stella Scott
Post Production Molinare London
Post Production Consultant
M J McMahon
Post Production Manager
Hannah Watts
Re-recording mixer
George Foulgham
Assistant Re-recording Mixer
Nick Ashe
Online Assistant
Morgan Cannon
Online Editor Nick Anderson
Colourist Andrew Daniel
With thanks to Mark Tooke Rachel Willis Suzi Goodrich
With the kind cooperation of
The Cambodian Center for the Protection of Children's Rights (CCPCR)
Cambodian Women's Development Agency (CWDA)
The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)

a Zealot Films production
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