Thursday, December 14, 2006

Films at the FCC

Last night saw the premier of a new short film on the Khmer Rouge period and the coming Khmer Rouge Trials. The film was produced by KID with help from OSJI- two very active NGOs in Cambodia. The English premier was at the venerable FCC and the place was packed.

The film was a very interesting and well done. It showed interviews with families from various parts of Cambodia and filmed them discussing the Khmer Rouge period. The contrast between the pain and and horror in the stories told by the grandparents, and the utter disbelief by the younger generation was shocking. In one section of the film a young man flatly denies that his mother's stories could be true because as he put it 'they don't make any sense'. He is then taken to one of the mass grave sites and his reaction to seeing the evidence of the genocide is one of the most powerful moments in the film.

The premier in Khmer will be on the 16th and 17th at the Chenla theatre in downtown Phnom Penh. It would be interesting to see the reaction from the audience, many of who, like the young man in the film, probably don't believe the stories of the Khmer Rouge.

A great job by both KID and OSJI.

On a side note: following the film a short Q&A took place. One of the questions, from a young backpacker type, was if it was true that the court had collapsed and had been cancelled. He backed up this with the 'fact' that he had been informed of the cancellation just a few hours ago. Laugher could be heard from the front rows of the audience were many members of the court including Co-Prosecutor Robert Petit, Co-Investigating Judge Marcel Lemode and a few others I didn't recognize, joked that they should go pack their bags.....

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