DC-Cam has supported several filmmakers with photographs and
music, research, translation, logistics support, and interviews
with its staff. For example, in 2004, we provided research,
translation, and other support to Cambodian director
Rithy Panh on his
documentary S-21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine, which
was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. In April, DC-Cam
director Youk Chhang accompanied Mr. Panh to New York to screen
the film at the United Nations in preface to fundraising for the
tribunal. We also gave advisory support to Mr. Panh two other
One night, newly married
Tang Kim was told by the Khmer Rouge that she was being taken to
live with her soldier husband. But instead, she and eight other
women were sent to a rice field near her village for execution.
Huddled on a dike with only one soldier to guard her, Tang Kim
heard the screams of the other women being raped. Knowing she
would be next, Tang Kim begged her guard for protection. But the
other soldiers returned and raped her as well.
This documentary relates the story of Tang Kim (who is a
Buddhist nun today) and her constant struggles to come to terms
with what happened to her during the Khmer Rouge regime. It has been screened in
Thailand, the Brussels Film Festival, the Prix Bruno Mersch Film
Festival, and the Museum of Modern Art and Asian Cultural
New York. It was also nominated as a finalist at the 2005 US
ASEAN Film, Video and Photography Festival. Earnings from DVD
productions of the film are being used to support the education
of Taing Kim’s children.
Copies of this film are available at the Documentation Center of
Cambodia’s Public Information Room (66A Sihanouk Blvd.,
Phnom Penh, 023-211-875, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Behind the Walls of S-21: Oral Histories from Tuol Sleng Prison
five years of waging civil war, Cambodian communist forces known
as the Khmer Rouge marched into Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975.
They immediately began forcibly evacuating the residents of the
capital and other cities, displacing more than two million
people to the countryside.
dwellers joined rural Cambodians in an ill-fated attempt to turn
the country back to “year zero” and establish a peasant-led
agrarian society. Most of the population was forced to work 14
or more hours a day, building dikes and canals, and growing rice
and other crops.
Khmer Rouge also abolished schools, money, private property,
courts of law, markets, businesses, the practice of religion,
and nearly all personal freedoms.
next nearly four years, as many as one of every four Cambodians
malnutrition, hard labor, or disease. At least another 200,000
were executed without trial.
Vietnamese troops and the forces of the United Front for the
National Salvation of
Kampuchea invaded Cambodia on Christmas Day 1978. Encountering
only a fleeing Khmer Rouge military and a weakened population,
they moved quickly through the country and reached Phnom Penh on
January 7, 1979. By late afternoon they occupied the city, which
was empty save for a few hundred prisoners of war and people in
hiding waiting to escape.
day, two Vietnamese officials who accompanied the invasion were
drawn to the stench from a compound in the southern part of the
city. There, they discovered the most important of the Khmer
Rouge prisons, the former Tuol Sleng High School, which was
known to the Khmer Rouge by the code name S-21.
Sleng was used to detain people the Khmer Rouge considered to be
enemies of the state, including members of their own ranks. Of
the estimated 14,000 men, women, and children held there, only
about a dozen are known to have survived.
who were imprisoned at Tuol Sleng, Bou Meng and Chum Mei, and a
former guard, Him Huy, were interviewed for this film in 2006,
more than 25 years after the tragedy of Democratic Kampuchea.
Funding for this project was generously provided by the Soros
Foundation’s Open Society Institute under its Documents and
Confronting the Past Affinity Group Project Support for DC-Cam's
operations is provided by the US Agency for International
Development (USAID) and Swedish International Development Agency
Survivors today are: 1) Chum Mey, 2) Bou Meng, 3) Nhem Sal,
4) Touch Tem.
The tours sought people from across Cambodian society, including Buddhist Nuns,
Cham Muslims, students, and those living in poor areas with little access to information.
For it is the thinking, that the court will be most effective, if the Cambodian people
themselves are involved in the process.
for this project was generously provided by Royal Danish
Embassy, with core support from The United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) and Swedish International
Development Agency (SIDA)
million lives were exterminated by a mass genocide in
Cambodia, leaving behind a country still
recovering from the torture and torment of nearly four
years of despotic rule by the Khmer Rouge regime. More
than thirty years since the collapse of the regime,
people are still struggling to live their normal lives.
From the pain and trauma of the killing fields of
Cambodia emerges a story of truth, revenge, and
forgiveness. In Mass Grave Near Pagoda two women, Lieb
and Kim Vaing grapple with the death of their respective
father and uncle by the hands of Kin, a willing
executioner, who killed to preserve his own life. All
three live in the same village. Faced with the truth of
the past, they must now question their faith in religion
and humanity to find the strength to forgive.
Victims Participation Project (VPA) is funded by British
Embassy, Danish Embassy, Open Society Institute (OSI),
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida),
Embassy of Norway (Thailand)
with core support from The United States Agency for
International Development (USAID)
The film with its title in Khmer Kbang Tik Tonle refers to the importance of water in Cambodians' lives.
It means that if one holds a scoop of water, every single drop of the water has to be protected, because the
river and the water mean life to the Cambodian people.
Twice a year in Cambodia, the Tonle Sap River changes course, while the river of life flows in a perpetual cycle of
death and rebirth, creation and destruction. Working in an intimate, verité style, filmmaker Kalyanee Mam (Director of
Photography for the Oscar-winning documentary INSIDE JOB), spent two years following three young Cambodians as they struggled
to overcome the crushing effects of deforestation, overfishing, and overwhelming debt. A breath taking and unprecedented journey
from the remote, mountainous jungles and floating cities of the Cambodian countryside to the bustling garment factories of modern
Phnom Penh, A River Changes Course traces a remarkable and devastatingly beautiful story of a country torn between the rural
present and an ominous industrial future.
By March 2103, A River Changes Course has been awarded the
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary Feature,
Tops Full Frame Winners: Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award
at Sundance Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, in the U.S. Also,
the film has been selected to international film festivals in the U.S., Germany, Korea, Australia, and Israel.
Among those, A River Changes Course has been selected as a finalist for the Festival Grand Jury Award in Non-Fiction
Feature Filmmaking, an annual component of The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
DC-Cam has received numerous requests to hold special screenings at universities, organizations, and other venues in
Cambodia and abroad. In Cambodia alone, this quarter, DC-Cam has screened the film to approximately 1,560 people.
The audiences include villagers, students, NGO's members, embassies' staff, academics, etc... The following is the
list of locations where the film screenings have been held and will be screened.
For the last twenty years, the Documentation Center of
Cambodia (DC-Cam) has been at the forefront of efforts
to gather stories of the surviving victims of the
Cambodian genocide and to educate future generations on
the events of this horrific period.
As Cambodia moves forward towards rapid development, the
DC-Cam will have another unprecedented opportunity to
document, through a film, the social and environmental
impact of development in Cambodia. The film project
aims to engage and inspire both a local and global
dialogue on this subject as well as reveal the natural
beauty of Cambodia’s people and landscape.
In LAND/WATER/RAIN, two ethnic Khmer communities, the
Pnong, living in the forested hills of Mondul Kiri
Province, whose livelihood depends on the land, and the
Chams living on
the river of Kampong Chhnang Province,
whose livelihood is drawn from the water – struggle with
the momentous challenges of daily survival in the face
of development and change. Having lost their home and
livelihood once to the Khmer Rouge, these communities
must now cope with a second loss – the loss of an
ability to make a living from the land and the river
that are their homes.
Set in the context of a nation still struggling to
reconcile its past, how individuals within these
communities confront and resolve their losses is telling
of how Cambodia will brave its own future.
Cambodia's story is not unique as the consequences of
rapid development are being felt all over the world. But
the tragic history of this nation, it's landscape
saturated with vast green rice fields, glistening water
and monsoon rains, and the people whose strength
continues to endure despite difficult odds, makes for an
exceptional, beautiful, and touching story.
Funding for this project was generously provided by the
MACARTHUR foundation and with core support from The
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
and Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).
During the 60’s and early 70’s as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock and roll and stood it on its head – creating a sound like no other.
Cambodian musicians crafted this sound from the various
rock music styles sweeping, America, England and France,
adding the unique melodies and hypnotic rhythms of their
traditional music. The beautiful singing of their
renowned female vocalists became the final touch that
made this mix so enticing.
But as Cambodian society - young creative musicians in particular - embraced western culture and flourished under its influence, the rest of the country was rapidly moving to war. On the left, Prince Sihanouk joined forces with the Khmer Rouge and rallied the rural population to take up arms against the government that deposed him. On the right, the Cambodian military, with American military support, waged a war that involved a massive aerial bombing campaign on the countryside. In the end, after winning the civil war, the Khmer Rouge turned their deadly focus to the culture of Cambodia.
After taking over the country on April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge began wiping out all traces of modernity and Western influence. Intellectuals, artists and musicians were specifically and systematically targeted and eliminated. Thus began one of the most brutal genocides in history, killing an estimated two million people – a quarter of the Cambodian population.
DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL tracks the twists and turns of Cambodian music as it morphs into rock and roll, blossoms, and is nearly destroyed along with the rest of the country. This documentary film provides a new perspective on a country usually associated with only war and genocide.
The film is a celebration of the incredible music that came from Cambodia and explores how important it is to Cambodian society both past and present.
Presented by Harmony Productions/Primitive Nerd/Pearl
Executive Producers Bradley Bessire/Youk Chhang/Jonathan Del Gatto
Associate Producers Daniel Littlewood Amy Boyd
Associate Producer/Lead Researcher Linda Saphan
Additional production services by The Documentation Center of Cambodia
Editors Daniel Littlewood Greg Wright Matthew Prinzing
Producers John Pirozzi Andrew Pope
Director John Pirozzi
An Argot Pictures Release
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Director: Makara Ouch
7 minutes and 25 second
One of the most iconic photographs at S-21 is a woman holding a new born with an unmistakable expression.
Looking closer a discernable drop of tear could be seen in the photo. It is displayed in Building B of the Toul Sleng Genocide museum.
At this point an unsuspecting tourist would have realized how cruel and harrowing this prison was under the Khmer Rouge regime.
Here alone nearly 14,000 people were tortured, forced to confess and executed. Both the mother and her baby were killed at S-21 in June 1978,
less than two months after they were brought in. This photo represents everything that was cruel at S-21 and the indiscriminate killing that
happened here or throughout the regime. Men, women, children, adolescents and elderlies were all brutally tortured, starved and killed. Writers,
journalists and state officials including former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton were drawn to this photo. It has a story. The woman in the
picture was Cham Kim Srun who was a wife of a Khmer Rouge regional chief named Sek Sat. Both were former Khmer Rouge revolutionaries who had fought
for the regime for many years before it took power in April 1975. They were brought to S-21 at the height of the Khmer Rouge’s internal purge of the Eastern Zone.
Their only surviving daughter is a 44-year old Sek Say who lives an hour-drive to the east of Phnom Penh. For more than twenty years she was searching for her mother.
She knew that her father had been killed by the Khmer Rouge, but retained a faint hope that they would spare her mother for her revolutionary contribution.
But she discovered her mother’s photograph in 2005 through a publication of DC-Cam’s family tracing of Searching of the Truth. Today Sek Say has five beautiful children.
She is stricken by grief but looking forward to building a bright future for her children.
BANTEAY CHHMAR TEMPLE
5 minutes and 34 second
Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.
4 minutes and 36 second
Wat Langka Preah Kosomaram
2 minutes and 54 second
WHAT IF THE STONES COULD SPEAK
1 minute and 12 second
Kingdom of Memory
2 minutes and 11 second
Cambodia. A mystical land embroidered by nature and adorned with soaring architectural monuments of ancient human adulation to Buddhist
and Hindu gods draws us away from the often mundane and repetitious landscape of everyday life. To experience its profound beauty is to
abandon the spiritual vacuum of the life of work and to be carried into another dimension of wonderment, immutability, inspiration and fulfillment.