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S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2003)

S21, la machine de mort khmère rouge (original title)
A unique documentary on the notorious S-21 prison, today the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with testimony by the only surviving prisoners and former Khmer Rouge guards.

Director:

Rithy Panh

Writer:

Rithy Panh
13 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Khieu 'Poev' Ches Khieu 'Poev' Ches ... Self - Guard
Yeay Cheu Yeay Cheu ... Self - Him Houy's Mother
Nhem En Nhem En ... Self - Photographer (as Nhiem Ein)
Houy Him Houy Him ... Self - Security deputy
Ta Him Ta Him ... Self - Him Houy's Father
Nhieb Ho Nhieb Ho ... Self - Guard
Prakk Kahn Prakk Kahn ... Self - the Torturer
Peng Kry Peng Kry ... Self - Driver
Som Meth Som Meth ... Self - Guard
Chum Mey Chum Mey ... Self - Survivor
Vann Nath ... Self - Survivor
Top Pheap Top Pheap ... Self - Interrogator & Typist
Tcheam Seur Tcheam Seur ... Self - Guard
Sours Thi Sours Thi ... Self - Head of Registers
Mak Thim Mak Thim ... Self - S21 Doctor
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Storyline

Between 1975 and 1979, the communist inspired Khmer Rouge waged a campaign of terror and mass murder on Cambodia's population. Up to 1.7 mill. Cambodians lost their lives to famine, hard labor and murder as the urban population was forced into the countryside to fulfill the Khmer Rouge's dream of an agrarian utopia. In the former Security Prison 21 (code-named "S21"), which was once a high school and is today the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, director Rithy Panh brings two of the few survivors back to discuss what happened there between 1975 and 1979. Painter Vann Nath survived by chance and didn't suffer the same fate as 17,000 other men, women and children who were taken there, tortured and their so-called 'crimes' meticulously documented to justify their execution. The ex-Khmer Rouge guards respond to Nath's questions with excuses, chilling stoicism or apparent remorse as they recount the atrocities they committed at ages as young as 12 years old. To escape torture, the prisoners ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

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Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

User Reviews

 
Organized terror
17 October 2009 | by lreynaertSee all my reviews

In this emotional and gripping movie Rithy Panh confronts former killers and the few survivors (among the thousands of inmates) of the slaughtering in the horrible S-21 prison in Phnom Penh during the Red Khmer regime in Kampuchea. The guards show the place were people were clubbed to death, not shot. The sound of gun shots would have created panic among the group of prisoners waiting to be killed. The inmates confess blatantly that under untenable torture they told their interrogators everything those wanted to hear and denounced as traitors even the most innocent of their compatriots. The movie creates a nearly unbearable emotional climate by showing the extreme excesses of a Marxist ideology going mad, killing even intentionally children and babies. A one party State was installed where the top forced a terror regime on the entire population.

This movie is a must see for all those interested in the history and the nature of mankind.


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Details

Language:

Khmer | Vietnamese

Release Date:

11 February 2004 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine See more »

Filming Locations:

Phnom Penh, Cambodia See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,302, 23 May 2004

Gross USA:

$22,606

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,550
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Company Credits

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Color:

Color
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