Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Cambodia on TV

Last night on Channel 4 television in the UK, the Alive series brought us the story of Chris Moon, the British de-miner who was captured by the Khmer Rouge in 1993 and lived to tell the tale, in Kidnapped in the Killing Fields. It was a dramatised reconstruction with Moon himself providing most of the commentary. As the credits rolled at the end, I saw that my pals Kulikar Sotho, as the programme's Fixer, and Nick Ray were involved in supporting the filming in Cambodia, which they tell me took place in July 2005 and lasted about two weeks. The location for the filming was the village of Tahan on Phnom Kulen, which was used to replicate the Khmer Rouge stronghold that Moon and his interpreter and driver were taken to and held captive for three days. My blog post on Chris Moon contains more information about the programme.

Kulikar (pictured) and Nick, who include the films Tomb Raider and Two Brothers amongst their feature film successes in Cambodia, and a host of other documentary and television credits, also have a few other current tv projects in the offing. Filming has recently ended for a BBC Horizon drama on bird flu, they're working on a programme based around war tourism which will include Cambodia and Vietnam, The Lost World of Albert Kahn is based on his majestic photographic collection that includes both countries, whilst 1,000 Places to See Before You Die will feature both Phnom Penh and Angkor. When they're not involved in making these programmes happen, they're responsible for leading tour groups for their own company Hanuman Tourism and Nick also finds time to write the odd guidebook or six, as editor of the Lonely Planet, and others. You can read more about Nick Ray here. Meanwhile Kulikar has other strings to her bow, one of which I'll tell you about in the next day or two.


Anonymous author said...

Reposted comments:

Andy said...

Co-inciding with the tv documentary about Chris Moon on British tv, the man himself has just completed a charity cycle ride across Cambodia. Here's the AFP report from Phnom Penh dated 9 Sepember 2006:

- A former deminer and amputee Chris Moon has completed a 900-kilometer (550-mile) bicycle ride through Cambodia, where he worked during the war-torn 1990s, to raise money for the disabled.

Moon, who lost part of his right leg and arm to a landmine blast in Mozambique in 1995, began his trek last week in northwestern Cambodia near the Thai border and finished in the capital Phnom Penh.

His mission, he told AFP, was to "raise money for artificial legs". "I know how difficult it is not to have one," the 44-year-old said Saturday.

Moon was clearing mines with the British charity Halo Trust in 1993 when he was captured by the communist Khmer Rouge in northwestern Cambodia.

He was released after three days, but came close to death several times as the guerrillas debated whether he should be killed. His ordeal was featured on the Discovery Channel's television program "I Shouldn't Be Alive".
"I'm so happy to see Cambodia at peace," said Moon, who made a similar trek through Cambodia in 1999.

But the countryside in the Southeast Asian country remains littered with millions of mines and unexploded ordnance, the legacy of decades of civil war that ended in 1998.

Hundreds are killed or maimed each year, despite efforts to clear the land of explosives which began in 1992. Roughly 2,900 square kilometres (1,100 square miles) of mine-infested land remains. At the current rate, the country will not be cleared of mines for another 150 years.

4:37 AM

March 28, 2008 9:03 AM  

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