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Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge - Part II: The mystery of Pol Pot by Maben, Adrian

Who exactly was the Janus-faced Saloth Sar: a polite child, a friendly teacher, a charming politician, or a cruel, relentless murderer? The latter plays a central part in this film. The innocent looking Sar was internationally known as Pol Pot, the leader of the infamous Cambodian Khmer Rouge. The director offers a comprehensive view on the personal and political history of this communist leader, including old footage, talks with politicians and historians, and fragments of the last interview ever given by Pol Pot; the interview with journalist Nate Thayer, just after his arrest in 1997.

Historic Relevance
Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953 and was ruled by Norodom Sihanouk until 1970, when he fell victim to a coup organized by Prime Minister and others. Lon Nol became the head of state and a guerrilla conflict began. Despite support by U.S. military forces and the government of South Vietnam, he was ultimately forced to cede power to the guerrillas and their leader, Pol Pot. The Khmer Rouge, officialy called The Communist Party of Kampuchea, carried out a radical program from April 17, 1975 till January 1979 and caused a genocide.

Political Relevance
In 1975 the Khmer Rouge, originated from the Indochinese Communist Party and Peoples Revolutionary Party, seized power in Cambodia. Revolutionary Pol Pot became the leader of the party. In power, the Khmer Rouge carried out a radical program that included minimizing foreign influence, closing schools, hospitals and factories, abolishing banking, finance and currency, outlawing all religions, confiscating private property and relocating people from urban areas to collective farms. The Khmer Rouge retreated to the Western area of the country after the 1979 Vietnamese invasion. The inevitable implosion of the Khmer Rouge was completed with Pol Pots arrest in 1997. Hun Sen is the current Prime Minister of Cambodia and leader of the Cambodian People's Party .

Maben, Adrian
Copyright Holder
60 min.
Year of release
English, Khmer

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