A film project by drsfilm and the green can foundation


When elephants dance, the grass gets beaten (short film)

When elephants dance, the grass gets beaten - Trailer from Jan van den Berg on Vimeo.


Moon is a farmer in Cambodia, on a land an hour away from the Angkor Wat temples. But she also works in the healthcare sector. With the money she earns from that job, she buys rice for the whole family and pays the school of her sisters.

In the short film, she marries her fiancée, Bun San. They have no money for a traditional wedding, but with a lot of help and support from collaegues, friends and family, they manage to make it a true traditional party.

At the wedding, we get a picture of the dramatic situation of many small Cambodia family farms. Every day large foreign companies are buying more of the agriculture land. The promised job opportunities don’t happen and the farmers find themselves without land or income. Many of them travel to neighboring country Thailand in search for a better life. The stories about the trip as an illegal migrant, the exploitation and having to work with dangerous pesticides are heartbreaking.

Almost three quarter of the available land for agriculture in Cambodia has been sold to companies that produce for export only. As this is disastrous for the local food production, the World Food Program supports vulnerable parts of the population with food supplies. In the mean time, the exile of farmers continues. Since 2003, more than 400.000 Cambodians have been chased off their lands as a result of land grabbing.

‘When elephants dance, the grass gets beaten’ will have its world premiere in Antwerp on January 22nd 2014, in combination with an expert panel discussion on land grabbing and food security (organized by ANPED and ARGUS). The Dutch preniere will follow in March that year.

In November 2013, a pre screenings was organized on the HCH and Pesticides forum in Kiev and in January one will be held on a Conference for Biology teachers in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Furthermore, the film is part of the IDFA Docs for Sale selection. In 2014, the film will be screened on international film festivals and will be available for schools, as part of the OXFAM GROW campaign.

Have a look at our other films