Medha first performed in 2018 at its Heritage Hub, located in Siem Reap’s Wat Bo Pagoda. They immediately caught the attention with their choreography and mastery of the large drums and other traditional instruments, such as xylophones and string instruments.

Medha’s members said they had trained hard to perform with the heavy instruments and carry out the complex choreography.

“At the beginning, all I know is how to hit the drum and my hands were swollen,” said Sang Sreypich.

They also have had to overcome conservative attitudes about gender roles that still prevail in Cambodian society and among musicians, who are traditionally men.

“My husband said having a female drum troupe is pointless,” Mehda member Choeung Pheak said in a trailer for the documentary.

Sang Sreypich told VOA Khmer, “​I have no problem with my family, but the challenge is outsiders, especially some male artists, who say playing drums does not fit women, [and that] women won’t last long.”

Speaking of her motivation, she said, “The creation of my group, first, is for myself. Second, in the 21st century… I want to create something new for the next generation and myself.

“Third, this group was created to encourage women that whatever they think of doing, they can try to do. It is possible if we try and we will do it.”

According to