One of the images from the S-21 photo archive
Tonight at Meta House (7pm), I will be hosting a double-bill of mid-1990s documentaries on a photography theme, both films never having been seen before in Cambodia. 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 murders 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, 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. A third, short film by Touch Yinmony called My Father's Teaching will also be shown tonight.
Labels: Cambodian Odyssey, Meta House, Secrets of S-21