In one of the last remaining wildernesses in South East Asia, Cambodian community activists are struggling to defend their forests. Rubber companies illegally cut down resin trees that the local population depends on, arguing the rubber industry is good for the area, providing jobs and development. Environmentalist Chut Wutty, defies threats and intimidation to fearlessly investigate the corrupt logging syndicates. In April 2012 he travelled to the Cardamom mountains to investigate an illegal, military-controlled logging site.
“At first, I didn’t expect they would target me”—Chut Wutty is a quiet, charismatic environmental activist. He is coordinating a network of protestors in Prey Lang forest, Cambodia, where deforestation destroys people’s livelihoods. But when the military arrive, Wutty is thrown to the ground at gun point. Immediately he is rescued by the network. Wutty is shaken but keeps going, determined to stop the destruction. At a logging site in the Cardamom Mountains Wutty is stopped and shot dead. In the aftermath, we ask, who is behind the killing, and can the network fight for the forest without him?
Featuring exclusive footage of Wutty in the months leading up to his death, interviews with activists and family members as well as those benefiting from deforestation, I am Chut Wutty exposes the fierce battle against illegal logging.
The film premiered on 16th January at Wild & Scenic Film Festival and will be screening at both the San Francisco Green Film Festival and the Environmental Film Festival at Yale in April this year. View a trailer for the film at https://vimeo.com/151373412 or visit the film’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IamChutWutty/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Fran Lambrick first went to Cambodia in 2004, and has been back six times since. From 2009–2014 she was at Oxford researching community forestry in Cambodia. During the many months of fieldwork in Prey Lang, she got to know the stories of forest activists, villagers who lost their land, and rubber plantation workers. I Am Chut Wutty is, for her, the culmination of a long engagement with issues in Cambodia.