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‘Enemies’ Journalist Encourages Patience for Truth-Seekers

Brother No. 2. Nuon Chea, sits with reporter Thet Sambath in this still from the movie "Enemies of the People."

The award-winning Khmer Rouge documentary “Enemies of the People” will be allowed public screenings in Cambodia, and co-producer Thet Sambath says he hopes it will one day be shown nationwide.

The film follows the efforts of Thet Sambath to uncover secrets of the Khmer Rouge through years of research and continuous interviews with the regime’s senior-most surviving leader, Nuon Chea. It was recently approved for public showings in Cambodia, following a successful run abroad.

Thet Sambath told “Hello VOA” on Thursday he hoped people from other countries will find in the film a reason to prevent similar atrocities from happening.

“I also hope that people in countries with similar experience to Cambodia’s will be able to watch this documentary and find a way to reconcile and to rebuild their countries,” he said.

Thet Sambath, who won a Knight International Journalism Award for his work on the film, said aspiring filmmakers who wish to do similar projects must be ready to work hard.

“If you want to find the truth, you have to be patient,” he said. “Don’t expect to find the truth in a week, a month or a year. If you need 10 or 20 years, wait for it. It is very worthwhile.”

“Enemies of the People” will now be shown in the US through the Public Broadcasting Service. Thet Sambath said he is now at work on a second film, focusing on the internal politics within Khmer Rouge leadership, with the aim of completing his work in 2012.