S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine

The tragic story of Cambodian genocide becomes a cautionary tale

In 1975, one of the most brutal regimes of the 20th century came to power. Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, attempted to reshape the tiny Southeast Asian country of seven million into an extreme agrarian communist country. Schools were closed. Religion and money were abolished. Every educated person was driven from the cities into farming collectives, where citizens had to fend for themselves in rice fields, working 14 hours a day under armed guard. These fields became known as the killing fields. Over its four-year rule, the Khmer Rouge annihilated two million Cambodians. The voices of both the surviving victims and soldiers can be heard in S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (S21: la Machine de Mort Khmre Rouge), an award-winning documentary directed by Rithy Panh. S21 is the name of a Cambodian school that was turned into a prison. The Khmer Rouge killed some 17,000 men, women and children there. 6:30 p.m. Holocaust Museum of Houston, 5401 Caroline. For information, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org. Free.
Mon., Aug. 30, 6:30 p.m., 2010

 
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