Khmer Rouge Filmmaking

Bophana Audiovisual Resources Center

By Heng Puthyrak

In April 1975 when the Khmer Rouge came to power, the film industry in Cambodia came to an end. Many actors and actresses were massacred over the four year communist rule. However, it was at that time that Khmer Rouge propaganda films were born. The Khmer Rouge produced over 78 films that benefited from Chinese filmmaking and propaganda techniques. The making of those films was fully supported by Chinese filmmakers who taught Khmer Rouge members how to shoot the films. They show an idealistic vision of the country and give a triumphant portrayal of the success of the regime: large scale public works, the agriculture industry, the happy lives of the children. But behind the fake propaganda, they hid the horror of that period.

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