Monkey Dance

Monkey Dance is in use by middle and high schools, community colleges, universities, and community programs to educate students about a range of issues – from sociology to culture to teen choices.  We love to hear back from teachers about how the film fits with their curriculum:

- How have you used Monkey Dance in your classes?
- What were your students’ reactions?
- Were there unexpected discussions that arose from watching the film?

Please join in the discussion below to share your experiences. You can also email Linda, Sochenda, or Samnang directly if you have a question for them.

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My students strongly identified with the film's protagonists and their struggle to negotiate between ethnic family and American popular culture. Yet Mallozzi's depiction of this conflict is not stereotypically represented as an either-or choice between acculturation and loyalty to community. Rather, her complex depiction of these college-bound students offers a third option, one metaphorically represented by dance. In focusing on Cambodian Americans, Mallozzi's film expands the canon of Asian American Studies and is a valuable resource for any Ethnic Studies classroom.

-Leslie Bow, Associate Professor, English, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Just wanted you to know what a tremendous impact your film made on the students here at Lowell High. I was approached by two students in the hallway later that day and they couldn't say enough about Monkey Dance. One student is a recent immigrant from Africa and she related to me how she closely identified with the effects of the war and the Khmer Rouge regime on the Cambodian American teens and their families.

-Betty Santagati, Fine Arts Chair, Lowell High School

I was impressed with the range of emotions and experiences you captured and how authentic the movie seemed – from parent concern to teen decisions/consequences and unfortunate tragedies. I especially enjoyed listening to the teens' narrations and their self-reflection, for example Sochenda saying that high school was more like a "fashion runway" for him! I laughed, cried (a couple of times) and truly enjoyed every minute of the movie and will recommend it to others--brilliant!

-Lizette Greaves, Tutor, Westford Academy

We provided some background and support for the film and our students were totally absorbed watching it. You could have heard a pin drop! We have put together a three-part presentation we call "Cambodian Art and Culture". Your documentary has become the very important third class. Thank you again for making such a wonderful film. Your film was a great success with our 5th and 6th graders. The groups have been small allowing for much discussion. Monkey Dance is a perfect tool for us.

-Lorranie McElroy, Teacher, Butler Middle School, Lowell, MA