S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine (2004)

S21: The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine
Type Feature Film
MPAA Rating None
Runtime 1hr 41mins.
Genres Foreign, Documentary
Keywords 1970s, abuse, civil war, death, prison
Status Released
US Release Date
Name Credit Credited as Role Id Sort Order
Michele Gautard Cinematographer n/a 402 6000001
Aline Sasson Executive Producer n/a 174 3000003
Isabelle Roudy Editor n/a 172 7000001
Marie-Christine Rougerie Editor n/a 172 7000002
Myriam Rene Sound n/a 120816 14000001
Liane Willemont Executive Producer n/a 174 3000002
Cati Couteau Producer n/a 3 3000001
Rithy Panh Actor Himself 1 1000003
Mak Thim Actor Himself 1 1000002
Vann Nath Actor Himself 1 1000004
Chum Mey Actor Himself 1 1000005
Rithy Panh Director n/a 2 2000001
Houy Him Actor Himself 1 1000001
In 1975-79, the Khmer Rouge waged a campaign of genocide on Cambodia's population. 1.7 million Cambodians lost their lives to famine and murder as the urban population was forced into the countryside to fulfill the Khmer Rouges' dream of an agrarian utopia. In S21, Panh brings two survivors back to the notorious Tuol Sleng prison (code-named "S21"), now a genocide museum where former Khmer Rouge are employed as guides. Painter Vann Nath confronts his former captors in the converted schoolhouse where he was tortured, though by chance he did not suffer the fate of most of the other 17,000 men, women and children who were taken there, their "crimes" meticulously documented to justify their execution. The ex-Khmer Rouge guards respond to Nath's provocations with excuses, chilling stoicism or apparent remorse as they recount the atrocities they committed at ages as young as 12 years old. To escape torture, the prisoners would confess to anything, and often denounce everyone they knew - though their final sentence was never in doubt.