Friday, September 19, 2014

Enemies of the People 2009

The Pol Pot era (1975-9) in Cambodia is recreated through a series of interviews. The killers at different levels, from poor peasants to the senior most living person of the ex hierarchy, are engaged in dialog by the film-maker, who lost his own family in the pogroms. Following the format and tradition of Lanzmann, this movie has the stamp of authenticity and immediacy.Such is the might of organisations that people can be made to perform the most hideous actions, as long as the command comes from above. The feature of the movie is mute understatement, coming from its aim of historical veracity: one has to remind oneself it really happened, while reconstructing the hell of the killing fields. The title, incidentally, refers to the victims.

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