This is the third of four films introduced by the Singaporean scholar Peter Lee who visits, explores and talks about the great empires of SE Asia as part of the series: The Mark of Empire, for Channel New Asia (CNA).
In this film he visits Angkor, which is probably the most famous of these empires and which at its height spread over a great swathe of what is now Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia.
Angkor was probably the greatest civilisation in the pre industrial world, and at a time when Paris had around 30,000 citizens, and that was considered a wonder, Angkor covered an area of around 1,000 sq km and housed 1,000,000 people.
Peter describes all aspects of the Kingdom, including its genesis, its hydraulic civilisation, and its wonderful architecture and art works. As usual Peter tries almost everything he describes for himself, whether that is compacting earth to make a road, weeding paddy fields or going fishing.
The film also makes very good use of animation based on puppet theatre models to illustrate points that could not have been made without expensive reconstruction sets. This adds a certain charm to the story and they are very well drawn and animated.
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