Thursday, June 22, 2006

Rain Falls from Earth : Part of My Soul

A documentary film that explores the impact of the Khmer Rouge period on the Cambodian people is Rain Falls from Earth, produced and directed by Steve McClure, and scheduled for release this Autumn in the United States. Filmed in Cambodia and the US, it will feature exclusive, personal interviews with Cambodian holocaust survivors like artist Vann Nath and Teeda Butt-Mam, as well as former Khmer Rouge soldiers.

It's a film that McClure felt needed to be told as he set about finding Cambodians prepared to relive some of the most horrifying moments of their lives in order to tell their stories of courage, survival and eventual triumph over adversity. In his words, "Its goal is to educate and raise awareness so this type of atrocity can never happen again." The film's website at provides more detail from the film. McClure is currently seeking a household 'name' to narrate the film.

Part of My Soul: The Odyssey of a Child of Genocide, a documentary that features author Loung Ung's riveting account of her survival under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, has won a television Emmy award in the United States. For Outstanding Achievement in Documentary - Cultural & Historical, the NECN news station's documentary came out on top. The film chronicles Loung's childhood memories of the loss, starvation and exploitation that she endured, her escape to the US, and her eventual reunion with her sister, Chou, that she left behind. It also explores how Loung has become a celebrated author and human rights activist. A film crew accompanied Loung on a return visit to Cambodia at the beginning of 2005 and the photo below shows Loung (in red) with her sister Chou [photo: Ryan Scafuro].

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