Thursday, July 22, 2010
A large crowd turned out for the two premiere showings last night at Meta House of Enemies of the People, despite the ferocious thunderstorm that struck the city in the hour leading up to the 6.30pm first screening, flooding nearby streets and uprooting trees. Both of the filmmakers, Thet Sambath and Rob Lemkin were present to introduce and afterwards, answer questions and the screenings were a great success for all concerned. The film shows the results of years of interviews by Thet Sambath with former Khmer Rouge cadre as well as intimate discussions with Brother Number 2 in the Khmer Rouge, Nuon Chea, before his arrest and detention awaiting trial for crimes against humanity. It took Sambath at least three years to get Nuon Chea to admit his part in the Khmer Rouge bloodbath on film, after first winning the former leaders' trust and acceptance. Sambath also took former killers back to the scenes of their crimes and recorded their testimony, including the revelation that human gall-bladders were eaten on regular occasions by some. More of the details he unearthed will be in a forthcoming book by Sambath, Behind the Killing Fields, to be released later this year. The film screenings continue at Meta House, two per night, for the next two days. I recommend you get along and watch this moving personal portrait.
Filmmakers Thet Sambath (left) and Rob Lemkin answer questions from the audience last nightBrother No 2 Nuon Chea admits on film for the first time, his part in the Khmer Rouge bloodbath
A familiar face in the audience, activist and politician Mu Sochua, who did more interviews that the filmmakers last night