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Filmmaker Hopes to Bring Justice in Acid Attack

Skye Fitzgerald, whose recent documentary, “Finding Face,” chronicles the life of acid attack victim Tat Marina, hopes support built from the film will go toward punishing the perpetrators and finding justice for his subject.

“One of our strategies with releasing the film here in the United States is to garner more support,” Fitzgerald told VOA Khmer in Washington, where he is on a tour to promote the film.

He had come to the capital, he said, “to make sure that legislators, politicians, and folks from the human rights community have a chance to access the film, learn about Tat Marina’s story, and hopefully get more fully engaged with the issues the film raises.”

Tat Marina, a young karaoke singer who was severely disfigured and nearly killed when she was doused with acid at a market in Phnom Penh in 1999, is expected to speak at the film’s launch in Washington, as she did when it showed in Portland, Ore.

Fitzgerald has also begun sending DVDs by request to Cambodia and has encouraged the distribution of copies.

“It’s not been a project that we engaged with for financial gains necessarily,” he said, “but it is a project that we couldn’t say no to.

“It was one that we felt very powerfully about, because of the nature of the story, because we knew that Marina hadn’t had a chance before to seek out any justice for herself or the family,” he said. “And so we felt very dedicated to making sure we took our resources and used them to help her and the family to tell the story.”

The film has invoked anger and sympathy in its viewers so far, from Americans and Cambodians alike. (The wife of a senior official is suspected in the attack, but no arrests have ever been made.)

“Through what I’ve heard it is injustice for her, and I want to personally see her pictures, and want to know how good the story is,” Keo Ang, a market vendor in Svay Rieng province, told VOA Khmer by phone. “Therefore I want a DVD, to show it to my family and some people so that they are able to understand more about her life.”