Five-documentary line-up set for final ECCC ruling

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Khieu Samphan during the hearing in Case 002 at the ECCC on August 16, 2018. ECCC

The Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre has set up a series of special documentary screenings to coincide with the Supreme Court’s hearing to announce the court’s ruling on the final appeal by Khieu Samphan of the guilty verdict and life sentence previously rendered by the Khmer Rouge tribunal (ECCC) in Case 002/2, which takes place on Thursday, September 22.

For five days from September 19 to 23 at 18:30 the Bophana Center will be screening documentary films related to the history of the Khmer Rouge’s “Democratic Kampuchea”. The purpose of these screenings is to increase the general awareness and understanding by the public regarding the history of the Khmer Rouge regime.

The schedule for the screenings is as follows:

September 19: Duch: Welcome to Hell directed by Adrian Maben;

September 20: Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia directed by David Monroe;

September 21: The Missing Picture directed by Rithy Panh;

September 22: Khmer Rouge: A Simple Question of Justice by Remi Laine Jean Reynaud.

On September 23: S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine by Rithy Panh.

Chea Sopheap, Executive Director of the Bophana Center, said on September 18 that on the occasion of the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s announcement of the verdict on the final appeal for Case 002/2, Bophana’s special screenings will provide a resource for the public to help them remember and understand the history of the Khmer Rouge regime and he said he hopes that especially Khmer youths will attend to increase their understanding of the history of their country.

“All of these films have universal value for everyone whether or not they are Cambodians, because they are also historical documents that reflect the various events that took place during the era of Democratic Kampuchea, which shocked the world and inspired important questions among scholars and leaders why the world’s nations had failed to stop a genocide again in the 20th century,” he said.

When the Supreme Court of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal closes Case 002/2 with the announcement of their verdict on Samphan’s final appeal of his conviction and life sentence, Sopheap said that young Cambodian intellectuals should continue studying the Khmer Rouge regime and use their talents with artistic expression and their generation’s communications skills to keep the memory of those dark events from being forgotten.

“Obviously, besides producing documentary films, young people can also create anything else – as long as it serves the public – but film is a tool that allows the audience to easily understand stories and history, after all, is just the factual narrative about what took place. But all documentary films produced by anyone must follow rigorous research guidelines,” he added.