Friday, October 24, 2008

Delgado film night

The author meets the filmmaker at tonight's Meta House screening
Tonight was Tiara Delgado's film night at Meta House including the world premiere of her latest documentary Bitter Mekong - The Sambath Legacy. The filmmaker presented three of the four films she's completed on Cambodia and the trio of tonight's offerings were linked by one central theme, the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia's recent history. American-born Tiara moved to live in Phnom Penh in June of this year after many visits and felt United Nations Day was an appropriate time to screen her latest film which focused on the story of Huot Sambath, a former Cambodian Ambassador at the United Nations. It follows his son, Rami, who last saw his diplomat father at the age of six, on a journey to uncover his father's fate, including his first-ever visit to Cambodia, where he has since moved to teach English. The film also showed Rami's mother returning to her homeland after 40 years away. Rami's father was one of the top diplomats recalled after the Khmer Rouge assumed power and who was later interrogated and died at S-21. Preceeding Bitter Mekong were two of Tiara's earlier documentaries, Fragile Hopes from the Killing Fields (2004) and The Road to Closure - Understanding the KR Tribunal (2006). All three films featured interviews with Vann Nath, one of the S-21 survivors as well as music by Khmer rap supremo praCh. Bitter Mekong is still in post production and the 25-minute short should be finalized by the beginning of 2009. The subject matter of all three films is still very relevant in today's Cambodia so I expected a much larger audience turnout than actually showed up to view the work of this fine filmmaker.
Find out more about Tiara Delgado's work here.

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