Red Wedding: Women Under the Khmer Rouge

A film by Lida Chan and Guillaume Suon

Cambodia | 2012 | 58 minutes | Color | DVD | Khmer | Subtitled | Order No. 131101

SYNOPSIS

The Killing Fields in Cambodia became known to the world but little is known about the struggles of the women left behind. From 1975-79, Pol Pot’s campaign to increase the population forced at least 250,000 young Cambodian women to marry Khmer Rouge soldiers they had never met before. Sochan Pen was one of them. At 16, she was beaten and raped by her husband before managing to escape, though deeply scarred by her experience. After 30 years of silence, Sochan is ready to file a complaint with the international tribunal that will try former Khmer leaders. With quiet dignity, she starts demanding answers from those who carried out the regime’s orders. To tell a story little known outside Cambodia, Cambodian Lida Chan and French-Cambodian Guillaume Suon include Khmer Rouge era footage underscoring war’s traumatic legacy for Sochan’s generation of women. Awarded two prizes at Amsterdam’s prestigious International Documentary Film Festival, RED WEDDING demonstrates the liberating power of speech and memory in the quest for justice.

PRESS

"3 1/2 stars. A powerful documentary on both an emotional and intellectual level, this is highly recommended."

Video Librarian

"Combines all the elements of a great documentary: a powerful historical episode, retold from an unexpected angle, and a first-rate photography."

International Documentary Festival Amsterdam Jury

"Subtly and poetically illuminates the absolute necessity of a country to shine the light on the truth about its own history."

Geneva Human Rights Film Festival

"The story of a survivor who pits humanity against an ideology and a system designed to annihilate people like her."

Foundation Alter Ciné

SCREENING HIGHLIGHTS AND AWARDS

  • FreedomFilmFest, Kuala Lumpur, Best SEA Human Rights Film
  • International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), NTF IDFA Award for Best Mid-Length Documentary
  • Geneva Human Rights Film Festival, WorldView Award
  • Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival, Aljazeera Golden Award (mid-length competition)
  • Gdansk DocFilm Festival, Poland, Jury Award
  • Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, Burma, Special Jury Award
  • Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal (RIDM)
  • This Human World, Austria
  • Watch Docs, Warsaw
  • Cambodia International Film Festival

ABOUT FILMMAKER(S)

Lida Chan

Lida Chan is a young Cambodian filmmaker. She joined Bophana Center in 2006, where, as an archivist, she specializes in the analysis of Khmer Rouge archives. She also works as a radio journalist for RFI (Radio France International), where she covered the trial of former Khmer Rouge cadre Duch.
In 2010, she attended a workshop on documentary filmmaking directed by Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh. She then made her first short documentary, My Yesterday Night, which poignantly portrays a former female bar singer in Phnom Penh.

Lida intends to focus on the status of women in Cambodia. By giving them a voice, she places herself as an observer of the new Cambodian society. (4/13)

Guillaume Suon

Guillaume Suon is a young French-Cambodian filmmaker. For more than 4 years, he has worked with Cambodian filmmaker and producer Rithy Panh, directing documentary films about Cambodia’s history and contemporary society.

His first film, About My Father, reached a national audience of 100,000 people, was screened in a dozen of international film festivals, and broadcast on the international French-speaking television channel TV5 Monde.

Guillaume Suon is an alumni of the Berlinale Talent Campus and a fellow of the Sundance Institute and the IDFAcademy. (4/13)

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