Arn Chorn-Pond was 10 years old when the Khmer Rouge come to power, he was separated from his family, owners of a leading opera company, and therefore, like most artists, doomed.
He was useful to the Khmer Rouge because he could play the flute and help with revolutionary propaganda so he survived, but he was also made to assist with the killing of many people.
After the Vietnamese invaded in 1979 he managed to escape to Thailand and was later adopted into an American family. His new life gave him the chance to speak out about the atrocities he had witnessed at many international events.
In this film we see him trying to help revive the musical culture of his former country, seeking out masters who survived the killing fields, and finding funding for them to pass on their skills to a new generation, under his Cambodian Master Performer’s Program.
Throughout the film Arn seems to be almost obsessively working for the people and culture he helped, in his own small way, to destroy. A moving and truly thought-provoking film about a young man’s attempt to come to terms with his past, and provide a basis for his future.
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