Much has changed in Sarawak, Malaysia since Mutang Urud was exiled to Montreal, Canada, more than 20 years ago. A renowned activist for Indigenous rights, Mutang now lives as a family man. Filmmaker Ashley Duong follows Mutang as he travels with his family back to Borneo to reunite with his village relations, their travel visa contingent on Mutang staying away from the local politics.
The remote village in Sarawak, however, is not like he remembers it. His cousins who once fought for the forest alongside him have joined forces with the logging companies that are destroying it. Despite the threat of a lingering arrest warrant, Mutang can’t deny his activism. A Time To Swim traces Mutang’s search for belonging in a village where everyone is related, yet the very idea of home and heritage seems to be slipping away. – KE
Mutang Urud, Noeli Urud, Agan Urud, Natasha Blanchet-Cohen
Ashley Duong (in attendance)
Ashley Duong is a Montreal-based filmmaker and multimedia storyteller working to amplify marginalized voices. A Time to Swim is her feature-length directorial debut. She also directed Re Lekuah (2018), the world’s first music video in the Kelabit language, as well as Land and Legends (2017), an interactive documentary. She is currently developing her first narrative feature in Vietnam and directs short docs regularly for CBC Arts.
2017 LA Asian Pacific Film Fest