France l 2016
In French and Khmer with English subtitles
Director: Xavier de Lauzanne
Cast: Christian des Pallières, Marie-France des Pallières, Bertrand des Pallières
These little gems were a hit! If you missed your chance to buy tickets for the premiere don’t worry, here is the encore screening you’ve been asking for!
Two worlds colliding for the best: the one of the children of Phnom Penh, scavenging the dump-site to survive, and the one of a recently retired French couple discovering Cambodia. This is the extraordinary human story of Christian and Marie-France and how they changed the lives of more than 10,000 kids over 20 years.
Benoît Duchâteau-Arminjon, a.k.a. Bénito discovered the horror of the Cambodian civil war when he visited a refugee camp on the country’s border with Thailand and experiences a profound emotional shock. He decides to put his promising career as a financial controller on hold and spend a year setting up a welfare center for abandoned children.
Since then, he has devoted most of his life to these children through the foundation he established in 1991—Krousar Thmey—or “new family.” A talented manager, Bénito set up a well-run organization, a constellation of small enters or schools, fully integrated into their Cambodian environment. From 2000 onwards, he gradually turned its operation over to Cambodians. As of 2017, a staff of 270 is supporting some 2,500 children in welfare centers for street children, family shelters, and schools for blind or deaf children. In this context, Khmer Braille and Khmer Sign Language were developed, for the first time allowing children with these disabilities to get an education.
After the projection of the Pepites, a film about the couple Des Pallières for whom Benito has a real admiration, he will answer your questions and share his reflections on this humanitarian world.