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S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine


S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
Rithy Panh, 2003
Fri, Sep 24, 2004 7 PM
Sat, Sep 25, 2004 7 PM
"Understated and unforgettable. This movie is as horrific an exposure to evil as Shoah."—J. Hoberman, Village Voice In 1975, the Khmer Rouge, insurgent Communists, overthrew the Cambodian government and established a despotic regime they called "Democratic Kampuchea." Led by Pol Pot, the new government began a systematic national purge of skilled workers, intellectuals, and dissenters. During the Khmer Rouge's genocidal 1975ñ79 reign, a Phnom Pehn high school was converted into S21, a detention center where over 16,000 people were interrogated, tortured, and murdered. Only 14 of the prisoners are thought to have survived.

This vital and considered documentary—an "utterly necessary film" (The Nation)—follows the two living survivors during their first visit back to the building. There they confront several of their former captors and tormentors. Both parties hauntingly reenact their former routines and recall the terror that gripped victims and oppressors alike.

support credits

Season support provided by the Rohauer Collection Foundation and the Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation.

Contemporary films, international films, and visiting filmmakers presented with support from the Ohio Arts Council.

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