Sunday, July 1, 2012

Freedom

Vann Nath, translator Priya and myself (holding camera) during filming for The Trap
Meta House held an evening devoted to freedom, which kicked off a month of events on the same topic that included a photo exhibition from veteran war photographer Tim Page, who has been documenting a land titling project that aims to provide Khmer families with titles to their own property. My main reason to attend was to watch the premiere, albeit under cover of darkness and not advertised, of Tim Sorel's controversial documentary, The Trap of Saving Cambodia, a phrase coined by Elizabeth Becker during one of the film's interviews. The camera follows NGO leader David Pred who is trying to put a global spotlight on troubling issues facing this country: forced evictions; corruption on a massive scale; the underground trafficking of women and children. The film asks are the World Bank, the United States and China funneling billions of dollars in aid to a government with little or no accountability? Tim Sorel had initially set out to look back at Cambodia thirty years on from the end of the Khmer Rouge period, but found his focus changed dramatically when he witnessed what happened at the Dey Krahom evictions. He wants his film to serve as a wake-up call to the world, and forces us to question our role in what is really happening in this beautiful, tradition-rich corner of Southeast Asia. Included in the film are interviews with David Chandler (who calls Prime Minister Hun Sen a thug), Elizabeth Becker, Youk Chang, the late Vann Nath, Joseph Mussemelli and Robert Petit. I had a small part in helping Sorel with some of his interviews including Vann Nath at Tuol Sleng and classical dance icon Em Theay (which was cut from the final 26 minute edit) and made the final credits.
Photographer Tim Page talks about his land titling experiences

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Lori MCoy said...

Thanks for posting this Andy. This looks to be an important film. I hope to be able to see it someday. The filmmakers are not alone in their assessment of Cambodia. Pulitzer Prize winning author Joel Brinkley.also discusses it in his book published last year "Cambodia's Curse."

July 3, 2012 at 12:36 PM  

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