Many of Cambodia's
emerging rock musicians were killed by the Khmer Rouge, but their music has
been carried forward by the band Dengue Fever. The rise of that band, and the
capturing of Cambodia's
1960s, are now highlighted in the film, "Sleep Walking Through the
In the past, singers like Ros Serey Sothea, Pen Ron and Sin
Sisamoth sang most of the Cambodian rock songs. Now Cambodian-American singer Chhom
Nimol and Dengue Fever have picked up where they left off.
The documentary, produced by John Pirozzi, seeks to
catalogue the emergence the band, which incorporates elements of American rock
instruments and Khmer lyrics in a unique psychedelic sound.
The film was a product of another product, Pirozzi told VOA
Khmer, called "Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and
Roll." As a camera operator in Cambodia
in 2001, during the making of the film "City of Ghosts," Pirozzi discovered Cambodian
"I thought it could be such an amazing story," he
said, adding that he hoped to use proceeds from the film to help support
Cambodian artist associations.
Meanwhile, Chhom Nimol, lead singer for Dengue Fever, said
she was excited to see old songs resurrected.
"I am so happy that it makes our Khmer people to know
clearly about Khmer rock-and-roll songs, and I am especially happy to make the world
recognize the value of Khmer artists, resurrected by Dengue Fever," she
said. "I am so thankful for the filmmaker who produced our band's documentary.
I think it is so important for the world to learn about Khmer songs and the
A long-term famous singer, Chhom Chhovin, a sister of Chhom
Nimol, called the film amazing, while Ieng Sithul, president of the Khmer
Artist association, said he was proud of a band promoting old Khmer songs.