Thursday, July 23, 2009

Next month at Meta

Boreak, one of Aki Ra's Boys
So you can put the dates in your diary for August, I will be presenting three documentaries at Meta House next month. The first will be on Saturday 8th, when the hour-long Aki Ra's Boys will be shown in Cambodia for the first time. Filmed in 2007 by the team of James Leong & Lynn Lee, it deals with the scourge of landmines and the effects on the handicapped children who live in the home of Aki Ra, the man who has demined swathes of Cambodia by hand and who runs the landmine museum near Banteay Srei. It was very sad to hear that Aki Ra's wife Hourt unexpectedly died a few months ago, though I believe he's now remarried and continues in his demining work and providing a home for handicapped orphans.
The second film night will be on Thursday 13th with a double-bill of documentaries on a photography theme. The first is Secrets of S-21: Legacy of a Cambodian Prison, a half-hour BBC production from 1996 in which two American photographers, Doug Niven and Chris Riley, painstakingly piece together the details of the genocide that took place at S-21 through thousands of photos left behind when the prison was evacuated. The photos and interviews with former prison guards and prisoners reveal a world built on power, fear, and total disregard for human life and dignity. This is still a relevant documentary more than a decade after it was made and so relevant to the KR trials taking place right now. In the second half-hour film, veteran Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths (pictured), in a film called The Shoot: Cambodian Odyssey, returns to Cambodia to talk about his experiences in the area but also of his approach to photojournalism. This documentary was filmed in 1996 by director Richard Traylor-Smith for the BBC. Griffiths died in March 2008.

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Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

The dvd for Aki Ra's Boys just arrived from the filmmakers in Singapore, so I can breathe a sigh of relief. It will get its first ever screening in Cambodia on 8 August.
As for the other two docs, I had them on VHS video in packing boxes in my spare room and got them converted to dvd at CD World on Sihanouk Blvd. They are not available commercially and haven't been seen in Cambodia to my knowledge. So this is your chance to view them - both were made in 1996.

July 24, 2009 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger cat said...

please, tell us more about handicapped children in Cambodia ?

July 26, 2009 at 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you're interested in fictional books involving Cambodia, but here's one you might not have heard of:

Also have you ever read the spy at Angkor or seen the 1966 Shell Cambodian motoring atlas?

July 28, 2009 at 12:25 AM  

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