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Khmer Rouge Movie by Former King Begins Shooting

A film depicting the capture of Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rogue began shooting Tuesday morning, with actors dressed as Lon Nol government soldiers lining a street to welcome the incoming communists.

The film is the apparent work of former king Norodom Sihanouk, who was famous for his movie-making before he was famous as the leader of the country that fell to the Khmer communists.

Sisowath Sieng Dy, who is a member of the Royal Cabinet and plays the lead female role in the film, told VOA Khmer the film is the former monarch's first film about the Khmer Rouge and its rise to power.

Filming began Tuesday, she said, with the Khmer Rouge shooting at the Independence Monument, and with Lon Nol soldiers at first greeting the communists as they marched down Russian Boulevard, which leads from the main airport into the capital.

The Lon Nol regime fell to the Khmer Rouge on April 17, 1975. Soldiers lined up in the early morning to greet the communist insurgents that had defeated them. The Lon Nol soldiers were immediately executed.

The making of a Khmer Rouge film by former king Sihanouk, who at one time aligned himself with the communists following his ouster in a US-backed coup, comes as war crimes trials are set to begin this year.

Khmer Rouge tribunal officials have said in the past the king could be called as a witness at the trials.