Craig Ower's documentary To Speak hones in on Ratana Peuw, a 12-year-old Cambodian girl teetering on the rim of subsistence amid the challenging environment of her poverty-stricken Asian hamlet. Ratana's jaded fellow villagers insist that she cannot possibly begin to look forward to improved socioeconomic conditions in the future. Ratana dissents, however, and refuses to let her hope die. One day, a solution indeed arrives in the form of a community development agency, which offers Ratana a most unusual way out. Their method is controversial, however, and will require the preteen to plunge courageously into the bloody legacy of the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields. Naturally, it stirs up feelings of rage and bitter disapproval among the local residents, who prefer to suppress the brutal facts of their country's history.
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