A film crew of eight Cambodians and two Germans left Tuesday for Kirivong district, Takeo province, to spend 10 days filming a
documentary near the Khmer Rouge stronghold of Phnom Vor.
The crew will film former victims of the Khmer Rouge
reenacting, through improvisation, their own memories of experiences under the
The film will allow former victims to express their
experiences under the Khmer Rouge and will be related to the upcoming trials
for jailed leaders under the Khmer Rouge tribunal, said Chhaya Hong, executive
director of the Khmer Institute of Democracy.
The institute has been promoting outreach of
information on the tribunal. The film will be dedicated to appeasing the anger
of Cambodian victims of the Khmer Rouge in general, he said.
“The film will discuss justice and reconciliation,” Chhaya
Hong said. “We want victims to reenact what they’ve experienced. They will
speak out about their pasts during the Khmer Rouge, painful problems. But no real
actors will appear in the film.”
Once the film is made, it will be used during the
institute’s outreach, across nine provinces, to help people vent anger
ahead of tribunal proceedings against five jailed leaders of the regime.
The film comes at the hybrid tribunal proceeds, with all of
its wards detained for more than one year. Judges said Tuesday they had
extended the detention of Khieu Samphan, former figurehead of the regime,
The courts are also set to try the first of the five, Tuol
Sleng prison chief Kaing Kek Iev, also known as Duch, early next year.
Chhaya Hong called the trial of Duch “crucial.”
“We have to prevent [violence],” he said. “In order that the
victims will not explode in anger and not take vengeance. We don’t want to see
such kinds of things happen.”
Tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath welcomed the initiative for
“We think this is a help for the country in the future,” he
The film will be finished by the end of December, and after
10 days of filming in Takeo, the crew will travel to Kratie province.