S21, LA MACHINE DE MORT KHMERE ROUGE
SynopsisFor several years now Cambodian society has been stirred up by the possibility that those responsible for the Khmer Rouge genocide could be brought to trial. This is the context in which film-maker Rithy Panh has undertaken a film project based on confronting the memories of victims who managed to escape with those of their former torturers.
For more than two years he has conducted an investigation to find the people involved, and to persuade them to meet at Tuol Sleng, the torture centre in Phnom Penh where, 25 years ago, some of them were plunged into horrifying everyday reality, and others served the machinery of programmed dehumanisation and extermination.
By comparing their testimony, the everyday workings of Tuol Sleng will be reconstituted.
But above all, if the film allows words to emerge to vanquish terror, to enable people to try to go on living after the horror of the genocide, it will enable the reconstitution of a collective memory by bringing individual memories face-to-face.
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The Official Selection 2003
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