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Cambodia’s cyclo taxi drivers got a rare treat on the weekend, and a brief distraction from tough times as the coronavirus takes a toll on tourism, provided with a video, dinner, medications and a $20 cash handout.

During the special screening on Saturday, hundreds of drivers struggling to make ends meet were seen sprawled out in their pedal-driven cars, when a makeshift movie theatre opened in a grassy yard in the capital of Phnom Penh.

The new film “Fathers” by local director Huy Yaleng, about the daily struggle of a cyclist to support his family, was shown.

“I teared up. I remember how I had to do anything and everything to support my family,” said Sun Sokhorm, 67, a cyclo driver for 34 years.

“The story felt like my own story.”

During the special screening on Saturday, hundreds of drivers struggling to make ends meet were seen sprawled out in their pedal-driven cars, when a makeshift movie theatre opened in a grassy yard in the capital of Phnom Penh.

The new film “Fathers” by local director Huy Yaleng, about the daily struggle of a cyclist to support his family, was shown.

“There’s not much left over, but I can survive,” he said.

The film was a success with drivers, one of whom was 93, born only a few years before the first appearance of cyclos in the former French colony in 1936.

The pedal-in movie was the idea of 20-year-old student Taing Huang Hao, who met Sokhorm last month and helped organize cycle drivers’ fundraising on social media. He partnered up with director Yaleng in the most recent round to collect $5,000 to distribute at the private screening.

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“They can see themselves inside the hardships portrayed by the movie, so they don’t feel like they are going through this by themselves”. “They are the storytellers of the city,” he said.

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