Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
Lost Child: Sayon's Journey
dir. Janet Gardner, USA, 2013, Documentary, 76 min. - in English and Cambodian
Sayon Soeun was abducted at the age of about six, exploited by the Khmer Rouge, his family life and education stolen. His recovery and redemption from unimaginable evil entails his transition from an orphanage in a refugee camp to adoption by an American family.
After more than three decades, he made contact with relatives he assumed were dead. Sayon follows these clues to Cambodia where he searches for the truth about a family he barely remembers and comes to terms with his own experiences as a witness to genocide.
Sayon says he will “never be able to forget what I learned as a child.” He and his family suffered Cambodia’s darkest hour, punctuated by torture, landmines, and bombing. And yet, they have provided us with unfettered access to follow him on his journey as he confronts his past. Sayon tells his story in his own words. He takes us from the battlefield through the refugee camps and the challenges of resettlement.
LOST CHILD celebrates the importance of family—what it means to be family-- and the insanity of a society that tried to tear that structure apart. This film shows the power of the human spirit to overcome oppression, specifically the ability of an individual to make peace with an inconceivably difficult past.