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'Enemies' Continues to Garner Awards

A Cambodian documentary filmmaker said he had to be away from his family on weekends for many years to seek the truth behind the death of 1.7 million people at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

Thet Sambath, who is also a reporter for the Phnom Penh Post, said he spent five years with Nuon Chea, Brother No. 2, before gaining the trust of the former Khmer Rouge ideologue.

“One day he just told me ‘Sambath, I’ve observed you for many years, and I now know that you are an honest man and that you are not taking any sides, so from now on I will tell you everything you want to know about the decisions Pol Pot and I made starting from the 1960s,’” Thet Sambath said, as a guest on “Hello VOA” on Monday and Tuesday.

His film, “Enemies of the People,” was co-produced by British documentary filmmaker Rob Lemkin. In the film, Nuon Chea admits for the first time the decision he and Pol Pot made to kill party members they considered enemies.

The 93-minute film received the World Cinema Special Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Two weeks later, it won Best Documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and earned the Fund for Santa Barbara Social Justice Award.