Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Virtual refugees

The Wanderers was screened for the first time at the Bophana Center tonight with director Christine Bouteiller and some of the Battambang villagers who are featured in the 1-hour documentary in attendance. With an English-language commentary, the French and Khmer versions will be screened later this week, and a Q&A to follow, the audience was treated to an intriguing warts-and-all look at how former Thai border camp refugees, who were repatriated to Cambodia in 1992, are still virtual refugees in their own country. In the same village, those who stayed behind and those who returned from the camps, live separately and view each other with suspicion and distrust, even all these years later. There are some powerful messages for Cambodians who are still dealing with the trauma of the 70s and 80s, and whilst the need for reconciliation is clear, with so much water under the bridge, it will be for the next generation to be the ones to kiss and make up.
Director Christine Bouteiller (left) and two of the villagers from The Wanderers

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