Displaced Yankee Productions | S21 Genocide Museum

S21 Genocide Museum

Today was a fairly light film day. Art and I went out to get some establishing shots of the city and made sure to have our hotel call for Vantha, our favorite Tuk Tuk driver. We made the mistake of not using him yesterday instead of waiting for him. Art wanted to film a sunset and we asked another driver to take us to a spot on the other side of where we were in order to film it. He insisted he knew what we meant, but of course did not. We wound up getting a very long tour of the city, not getting the sunset, but we did get a nice close up of him stopping to pee on the side of the road. You think I would have learned my lesson in March when Theresa and I didn’t use Vantha one time and wound up lost in a dark alley in a remote part of the city. There is only one thing I have learned for sure here in Cambodia. There is NO other Tuk Tuk driver but Vantha.
After getting our city shots, we went to CCF to interview Layseng. Fate doesn’t always unfold your way when working with kids and Layseng is in bed with Pink Eye. As it is contagious and not really a good image for the camera, plus the fact it makes her feel lousy, it is not going to be the best moment for the interview. We hope it will clear up by Monday; otherwise, her interview will have to wait till January. Such are the breaks of the documentary filmmaker.
We take advantage of the extra time and decide to try and get into the S21 Genocide museum and The Killing Fields with our camera gear. Ny, our amazing translator, not only talks our way in, but we don’t have to pay at S21. I ask her what she said and she shrugged. “You know, I just tell them non profit project, spreading awareness, blah, blah, blah.” I will try Blah, Blah, Blah the next time I need to sweet talk someone. The Killing Fields lets us in as well after I fill out an additional application and fork over $25 in fees. We spend some time shooting footage of the skulls, bones and bits of clothing left from the people who were murdered there during the genocide. Two women from Idaho stop to ask what we are doing and leave with the website info and a promise to spread the word about the project. Building awareness of the film one random person at a time.
Now I’m taking an hour to myself before we head back to CCF to film a music class. Then we are calling it a night and getting ready to head to Kandal countryside tomorrow with two of our boys, Meng Ly and Saroeurn. Chances are we’ll be out of touch for a few days again so I expect lots of messages and emails when we get back!
Peace and Love – Heather


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