The Khmer Rouge and the Man of Non-violence

Bernard Mangiante

Intriguing documentary about the defence of Khmer Rouge leader Kang Guek Eav, also known as ‘Duch’, who headed the notorious Cambodian S21 prison in the seventies. Despite Duch’s confession, his lawyers quarrel about the best line of defence.

In a brand new court in Cambodia, a country still divided along political lines, one of the head men of the country’s history is brought to justice. Kang Guek Eav, also known as ‘Duch’, was a high-placed official and head of the notorious S21 prison of the Khmer Rouge, the military branch of the Cambodian communist party that spread death and destruction between 1975 and 1979. Only seven of the nearly 16,000 S21 prisoners survived the torture and hardship to which they were exposed. Duch is one of the few Khmer Rouge leaders to be brought to justice. His defence lawyers, Cambodian Kar Savuth who was once imprisoned by the Khmer Rouge, and his French colleague François Roux, seem to have an increasingly different view on the best line of defence as the case against the former prison director before the International Court of Justice progresses. Conflicting ideologies and legal vision undermine the relationship between both attorneys.


Bernard Mangiante
Serge Lalou
Country of production
Cambodia, France
87 minutes
Spoken language
English, French, Khmer
Production company
Les Films d'Ici
World Sales
Les Films d'Ici