The once rich and thriving Cambodian culture was decimated and eliminated from the history books by the barbaric Khmer Rouge during the genocide of the 1970’s. 30 years after the genocide, the Cambodian diaspora’s young, coming from all over the world, are returning to the motherland and introducing hip-hop culture to help revitalize the fractured Khmer culture. These Cambodian youths are trying to inspire the post-genocide generation to take ownership of their future. In their quest, they are claiming back the artistic and cultural heritage of their ancestors, enriching it with contemporary techniques and influences. Through their dedicated work, these young people are trying to heal Cambodia.
THE ROOTS REMAIN follows the story of Canadian-raised graffiti artist FONKi, as he returns to his ancestral Cambodia to reunite with his family and to meet with other leaders in Cambodia’s growing hip-hop community. Utilizing Cambodian film archives, as well as new original footage, the film chronicles the heartbreak of FONKi’s family during the genocide, and bears witness to FONKi’s efforts to instill passion for street art in Cambodian youth. With his largest mural to date, he pays an emotional and poignant tribute in Phnom Penh to his relatives who disappeared during the war.