Khmer Rouge: Movie Analysis

1125 Words 5 Pages
The memory of the Khmer Rouge and the prison facility S-21 is one that is shadowed by repressed memories, lack of knowledge of the events, and apathy of the horrors that took place. By analyzing the similarities, differences, and the purpose of the book and movie we can see the issues that we have today in memorializing the genocide in Cambodia. The book Voices from S-21, and the movie Khmer Rouge: Killing machine, try and address the misconceptions that the perpetrators have in their involvement of these events, and educate other Cambodians and the rest of the world about the horrors that the Khmer Rogue brought into Cambodia. By educating those involved and the future generations through their book and movie the director /author hope to change …show more content…
The book uses more of a historical approach and includes a total overview of the inner workings of the party and the events we see in the prison and applies this to a bigger picture of the country and the party itself. The movie uses actual surviving victims and guards to discuss, reenact, and to explain how the prison worked and why things happened the way they did. The difference is the point of view we are seeing and learning about the events from. An example of this is in the movie the direct interview style of film allowed for one-on-ones with the former guards and prisoners. This allowed viewers to see both sides and gain a personal viewpoint of each of these people and learn about their own stories. The purpose of both the movie and book are the same; both are used to educate. We see their difference in approaching these purposes through an example of interviewing a guard. In one scene of the film, a former guard says “I have done nothing wrong, I was just following orders.” The book would take the context of the guards quote and applied it to the overview of the Khmer Rogue reign and historical background to explain farther the overall scenario of how the guard got to this position. The author describes the psychological background to why the guards would think this way; he describes the indoctrination of the party, the education, and the …show more content…
In the movie, survivor Vann Nath, sits with the prisons former doctor Mak Thim, and uses the written archives to question him on his actions about draining blood from prisoners. The archives give Nath the written evidence that creates legitimate, hard evidence against the perpetrators, which in turn would hopefully make them realize the mistakes they had made. The archives provide a way in both the movie and book to question the former guards and to try and break the misconceptions that the guards and others have about what happened in S-21. The book also uses archives to undermine the party’s policies and illegitimatize their teachings, hoping to truly educate others on the issues of the Khmer Rogue. When reading through archives of prisoners confessions that state events that couldn’t possibly have happened, such as being “a spy for the CIA”, and having guards admitting to encouraging prisoners to write whatever they could to fit their “guiltiness” it helps dismantle the long-term teaching of the party’s greatness. Breaking this long-term engrained teaching of the party is one of the greatest obstacles facing the knowledge of the genocide. “If the party says its true they are an enemy, the party never makes a mistake,” is a quote from the movie from a guard, which shows this still

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