RIFF Movies Archive

Angkor Awakens—An Inside Look at Cambodia



United States, 2016, digital - Color - 85 minutes

DIRECTED BY:
Robert H. Lieberman

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Robert H. Lieberman

EDITING:
David Kossack

SOUND:
Norm Scott

PRODUCER:
Deborah C. Hoard

PRODUCTION:
PhotoSynthesis Productions

WORLD SALES:
Journeyman Pictures

STORY DESCRIPTION:

From the celebrated team that created “They Call It Myanmar,” hailed by Roger Ebert as “one of the top documentaries of 2012,' a New York Times Critics’ Pick, comes…Angkor Awakens: A compelling look at modern Cambodia — a society at a tipping point, where one of Asia’s youngest populations is rebuilding its culture and learning about its past. Director Robert H. Lieberman, a child of the Holocaust, begins by taking us back in time to explore the parallels between two genocides.The film sweeps from the ancient Angkor Kingdom to today’s modern Cambodia. Through the use of shadow puppets, the viewer is led through the country’s tangled history. We discover how the CIA-sponsored ouster of King Sihanouk and the U.S. secret bombing of Cambodia led to the rise of the Khmer Rouge.The film features key Cambodian players, including a rare interview with strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen. Journalists, historians, key US State Department officials and Cambodians both young and old reflect on a society emerging from a horrific past.Angkor Awakens paints a moving portrait that helps us understand the past and the possibilities for the future as Cambodia struggles to emerge on the world stage.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:

Robert H. Lieberman is a best-selling novelist and film director. He is also a long-time member of the Physics faculty at Cornell University.His previous film, “They Call It Myanmar,” was a New York Times Critics’ Pick and named one of the top dozen documentary films of 2012 by Roger Ebert.He is presently working with producer Didier Brunner, the “Godfather” of French animation, to adapt his new novel “The Nazis, My Father & Me” for a major animated feature.Other films: the comedy “Green Lights,” “Last Stop Kew Gardens,” “Faces In A Famine” and “BoyceBall.”His novels include “The Boys of Truxton,” “Baby,” “Paradise Rezoned,” “Goobersville Breakdown” and “Perfect People.”

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