Cambodia, France | 2020 | 82 min
Languages : Khmer, English
Subtitles : English, French
Songsa is sent to Phnom Penh by his family to sell clothing in a rickshaw. As for Phearum, he got into debt to buy a taxi, while Thy works in a gay club. Through this subtle fiction of the real, Jessé Miceli draws a lively portrait of a young generation struggling with a society undergoing accelerated changes.
Whilst still predominantly rural, Cambodia is undergoing rapid socio-economic change, amplified by the huge influx of Chinese capital, largely to the benefit of urban areas, first and foremost Phnom Penh, to which the under-30s—who represent 70% of the population—are flocking to try their luck and to ensure their survival and that of their families. Such is the case for Songsa, an introverted teenager, sent to the capital to sell clothing in a rickshaw, for Phearum, who has gotten himself in debt to purchase a taxi, and for Thy, who works in a trendy gay club and dreams of joining a bikers’ club. Shot with a limited budget and a Cambodian crew, Coalesce plunges us into the heart of a chaotic city in perpetual movement, where decrepit colonial houses have made way for sparkling buildings, and where screens and western tourists have taken over the streets. In this "fiction of the real", Jessé Miceli draws an accurate and lively portrait of a young generation, struggling with a society that has grown too quickly under unbridled capitalism.
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