Sunday, May 10, 2009

Outreach at its best

Across Cambodia there are thousands of villages filled with thousands of people who carry inside them the experiences of the Pol Pot time, as they call it. For the majority there is no opportunity to let it out but that's exactly what the filmmakers of We Want (u) to Know were able to do in a couple of villages in Kratie and Takeo provinces. They gave older villagers a voice to talk about and even act out their painful experiences and it worked for me. It also allowed the younger generation to find out first-hand about what really took place and which affected every family in Cambodia. This particular outreach program was a great success and that was epitomised when a grandmother who was able to supervise a re-enactment of her own husband's disappearance, said that she was happy she could tell her story at last, and that people listened. Italian filmmaker Ella Pugliese and her team did a great job in bringing these previously untold stories to life in a fresh and compelling way. I hope she is able to fulfil her wish for the film to be shown throughout Cambodia, as I think it will do a lot of good for a generation of people who have otherwise been tight-lipped about the horrific experiences they went through. It was a full-house at Meta House tonight as the filmmakers completed a successful 4-night screening run.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

They want you to know

A brand new documentary film, written, filmed and involving villagers from Siem Reap, Takeo and Kratie provinces, who talk about and act out their experiences during the Khmer Rouge period, will get its debut screening at the Chenla Theatre on Thursday 7 May at 4pm. We Want (u) to Know is directed by Italian filmmaker Ella Pugliese (pictured), who has been in Cambodia before to shoot her 2002 film Playing Cambodia. Her new film has been made with the help of organizations keen to provide outreach to villages across Cambodia who are otherwise ignorant of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal currently taking place, with funding courtesy of the German Development Service. Following the screening, the filmmakers will answer questions about the film and its contents. Further screenings will then take place at Bophana on 8 May (7pm), Cafe Living Room on 9 May (7pm) and Meta House on Sunday 10 May (7pm).

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