Back from the first one week shoot in the Southern Cardamom Mtns, [for Wildaid] very remote shooting conditions — generator and batteries strapped to motos, riding through the very narrow winding paths between villages (Thma Bang to ChhunNopub, Chun Noub to Chi Phat) walking sometimes because the inclines are too steep and narrow for our motos. My driver almost bought the farm as he was waling his moto over a rotting improvised log bridge over a crevasse, I grabbed his arms and steadied him from the abyss…
Wildlife, larger mammals at least, was not easy to see, but did catch some great bird activity on the mangrove channels near Bokum.
Only damage to myself: one tick on my ankle which I found wafter our kidney killing moto ride from ChunNoub to Kurtz-ian river town of Chi Phat, where I pulled the runt out with my medical tweezers, first time they’ve come in handy actually.
More later and more leisurely described in HURRICANE, but spent some time out with local rangers who showed us the incredible range of snares poachers use to catch picgs, deer, Pandolins, even Tiger. Rows of confiscated chainsaws, old captured sontraband Siamese croc skins on the wall. Herons on the trees lining the mangrove channels.
Also: timesless meeting with beautiful young woman in Tata, she was one of a group of basket weavers we stumbled upon as we made our way up the river bank, talking to locals. As she left, with her small daughter, rowing her boat across the river, she smiled at me–my heart melted and floated away.
I have the urge to return to the jungle as soon as I cut this doc to start a new race of moviemakers, with her or others like her, and there I shall stay for good. More than an urge actually, as I return to scrappy Phnom Penh…I will go back there as soon as I can, to roam the riverbanks and hills.
Still pushing SUSAN HERO which is being assiduously tweaked in NYC by co-editor “G”. Next submission: Cannes, via priority, in a matter of days.