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