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Changing Lives: The Peter Cooper Story

Lost Child: Sayon's Journey, A child soldier's story of redemption and recovery. A film by Janet Gardner and Sopheap Theam

LOST CHILD ~ SAYON'S JOURNEY shows how one Khmer Rouge child soldier confronts his childhood experiences during Cambodia's darkest hour, what he witnessed, and struggled with as he came of age.

Sayon Soeun was abducted at the age of six, exploited by the Khmer Rouge, his family life and education stolen. His recovery and redemption from unimaginable evil entails his transition from an orphanage in a refugee camp to adoption by a loving American family. After more than 35 years, he recently made contact with brothers and a sister he assumed were dead. The documentary follows his journey back to Cambodia to heal himself by finding the family that let him slip away and forgiving himself for his complicity as a Khmer Rouge child soldier.

Sayon's Story

Lost Child ~ Sayon's Journey

There are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers worldwide. This film shows how one of them came to grips with his childhood experiences, what he witnessed, and carried with him as he came of age. Lost Child ~ Sayon's Journey tells the story of a former child-soldier under Cambodia's Khmer Rouge.

Abducted at the age of six, he is now a community activist in Lowell, Massachusetts. Sayon Soeun appears to be living the Khmer-American dream alongside his wife, her extended family, and a thriving Khmer community. However, painful questions persist concerning the years he spent under the brutal authority of the Khmer Rouge.

After 35 years of absence, he recently made contact with four potential brothers and a sister he had assumed were dead. Sayon follows up when he returns to Cambodia where he searches for the truth about a family he barely remembers and comes to terms with his own experiences as a witness to genocidal crimes.

Sopheap Theam
Co-Producer Sopheap Theam with her family's transit photo at Khao-I-Dang Refugee Camp

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