To understand Cambodia, the film delves to the roots of its culture and its conflicts. It looks back to the time of the great Kings of Angkor, how they ruled and how they survived as their empire crumbled; Cambodia’s fears and response to the thrust of their Vietnamese neighbours; the impact of colonisation by France and the struggle for independence in Indochina after the Second World War. The film explores the years of Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s rule, his juggle for peace, his charisma and contradictions. Following the Prince’s overthrow in 1970, the film traces Cambodia’s destruction during the five years of war before Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge came to power and launched their revolution.
James G. Gerrand