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Scene 1: Denial Aggression and Double

  • DC-Cam

A story about divided people: two women and two men in their 50’s.

Vutha

This is a story about divided people.

We are on a square in a small village.

(whispering)

Here comes Mr. Akrak.

He is 58 years old.

He can’t handle the truth.

(loud)

Hello, mister Akrak.

Can you please tell us, what did you do during the Pol Pot period?

Mr. Akrak

I was a youth leader.

I educated youth to love the country.

Vutha

Did you give orders to arrest people?

Mr. Akrak

Yes, of course, we could not prevent it.

Even our parents and children were taken.

There was nothing we could do.

Vutha

You were an important person?

Mr.Akrak

No, not at all and I am telling you the truth. Orders from higher up did not come to me directly because I worked at a very low level. I am illiterate. I was under their control.

I did as I was told.

Vutha

You knew about the mass killings?

Mr.Akrak

The killings were in the other village.

Mrs. Sophy

You’re a liar.

Vutha (whispering)

This is Mrs. Sophy.

She is 52 years old.

She wants to hear the truth and nothing but the truth.

Mrs. Sophy

You’re a liar.

You can’t deny knowing about the killings, everybody knew about the killings.

Voice

A dead elephant could nver be convered with a flat blanket.

Mr. Akrak

No one was killed here.

I did not do anything.

Mrs. Sophy

You’re a liar!

Mrs. Thida

Stop it, don’t talk with him, I don’t want to talk with them.

Vutha (whispering)

This is Mrs. Thida.

She is 53 years old.

She doesnot want to talk, she does not want to hear, she does not want to see.

Mrs.Thida :

Stop it, I don’t want to hear, I don’t want to see.

Mrs. Sophy

You’re a liar mister Akrak.

People were afraid of you then. They said that if you stared at a person, even for a moment, that person would disappear the next day.

Mr. Akrak

People just say those things.

There’s no evidence.

Mrs. Thida

Stop it, don’t talk with him.

Mrs. Sophy

I want him to tell the truth. You were aware of the killings, mister Akrak, and you yourself were involved in them. Don’t deny it.

Tell the truth!

The truth!

Mr. Akrak

It happened everywhere, everyone was in the same situation.. We were ordered by top officials.

We did not argue because we were afraid to die ourselves.

Mrs. Sophy

You were afraid of dying? Don’t you think we were afraid too?

Mrs. Thida

Stop talking!

That is the turn the country took.

Mrs. Sophy

Are you not haunted by the memories of all those thousands of deaths?

Mr. Akrak

No, they never plague my conscience. I was tied to the Angka. Whether it was genocide or not. Who can say?

Mrs. Sophy

Because of you, people were killed, mister Akrak.

Mrs. Thida

Stop talking, stop fighting.

When we fight too much the murderous blood will return to this generation. Please, shut up. Let us dig a hole and forget about the past.

Mrs. Sophy

No

Too much blood has been spilled to forget or forgive them.

Mr. Akrak

It wasn’t all for fun. I suffered too. When Angka was defeated an angry mob chased me into the jungle.

But when I came back I was supported by villagers. They even provided me with food.

I was not shot, that means that I did not kill anyone. I´m still alive today. Only good Karma will let you live for so long.

Mrs. Sophy

It´s not your Karma, mister Akrak, that kept you alive, but the relatives of your victims who follow the teachings of Buddha.

Mr. Akrak

Listen, I have to go now.

It’s time to eat.

Vutha

Stop! Don’t go, mister Akrak!

Don’t walk away.

Someone wants to talk to you.

Mrs. Preal

Where is the body of my father!

Vutha (whispering)

It is Mrs. Preal.

She is 50 years old.

She hesitates day and night: revenge or no revenge.

Mrs. Preal

Where is the body of my father?

You arrested him.

You killed him.

Where is his body?

I want to bury my father.

Mr. Akrak

The killings were in the other village.

Mrs. Preal

You lie.

Mr. Akrak

You have no proof.

Mrs. Preal

I saw you.

Mr. Akrak

Sorry, I really have to go now.

Mrs. Preal

No. You have to answer. You killed my father. But you dare not admit it.

When you came out of the jungle I only asked you: ‘What happened to my father. Where is my father.’

You were afraid I would kill you.

You said you did not know my father. You lied.

I had the gun of my father and you knew I would shoot you if you confessed. I really wanted to kill you then.

But my friends warned me against killing a man because of the consequences for my Karma.

That’s why I did not kill you. But even today, all of this weighs heavy on my mind.

Perhaps if I had beaten him, then he would have told me the truth and I would have been able to bury my father. But I did not.

I don’t know what to do.

I know that revenge ends with no revenge; it never stops. I know that we are forbidden from killing all living beings, from all killing, of all creatures on earth, not even the mosquito that bites us. But I am not a god and until my death I will remain with this doubt.

Song

The Cambodian People’s Lament

by Sath Bunrith

The Cambodian people’s lament

Is like a turtle dove

That is tossed in a storm.

Caught in the rain and thunder,

Left in the terrible cold

Its eyes

Filled with sorrow.

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