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The Khmer Rouge and the Man of Non-Violence (2020)

01:27:00 min - - 7 August 2020
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Phnom-Penh in the spring of 2009. Kaing Guek Eav, aka Duch, was the warden of Tuol Sleng prison, notoriously known as S 21, from 1976 to 1978. He is a defendant before the international Khmer Rouge Tribunal, accused of being responsible for the death of 14,000 prisoners. While his French lawyer François Roux is preparing for the trial, Duch assumes responsibility for the charges, wants to plead guilty and ask for forgiveness. This is the basis on which his defence counsel develops his strategy. Since the trial is going to follow both international and national Cambodian law, though, the international defence counsel is assisted by a Cambodian lawyer who has a wholly different strategy in mind. This defence counsel, Kar Savuth, claims that the requirements of official Cambodian politics play a vital role here. He enters a plea of not guilty and generally questions the jurisdiction of an international court of law. On several occasion the trial threatens to fall apart. Director Bernard Mangiante restricted himself to absolute stylistic severity in his film: he shot an intense court room drama that hardly ever leaves the court, the corridors or conference rooms on its dizzying tour de force through the depths of human nature, the banality of evil and universal questions of the interpretability of fundamental values of civilisation.

Director:  Bernard Mangiante
Writers:  Bernard Mangiante
Stars:  Yann Collette, Michel Dodane, Guek Eav 'Comrade Duch' Kaing, Nicolas Marié, Sylvie Moreau, François Roux

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Storyline

Phnom-Penh in the spring of 2009. Kaing Guek Eav, aka Duch, was the warden of Tuol Sleng prison, notoriously known as S 21, from 1976 to 1978. He is a defendant before the international Khmer Rouge Tribunal, accused of being responsible for the death of 14,000 prisoners. While his French lawyer François Roux is preparing for the trial, Duch assumes responsibility for the charges, wants to plead guilty and ask for forgiveness. This is the basis on which his defence counsel develops his strategy. Since the trial is going to follow both international and national Cambodian law, though, the international defence counsel is assisted by a Cambodian lawyer who has a wholly different strategy in mind. This defence counsel, Kar Savuth, claims that the requirements of official Cambodian politics play a vital role here. He enters a plea of not guilty and generally questions the jurisdiction of an international court of law. On several occasion the trial threatens to fall apart. Director Bernard Mangiante restricted himself to absolute stylistic severity in his film: he shot an intense court room drama that hardly ever leaves the court, the corridors or conference rooms on its dizzying tour de force through the depths of human nature, the banality of evil and universal questions of the interpretability of fundamental values of civilisation.


Collections: Bernard Mangiante

Genres:

Details

Official Website: 
Country:   France Cambodia
Language:  English, French, Khme
Release Date:  7 August 2020

Box Office

Company Credits

Production Companies:  Bophana Productions - Rithy Panh

Technical Specs

Runtime:  0 h 01 min
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Poster for the movie "Angkor redécouvert"