Site 2, Rithy Panh,  91’, France / FRG, ZDF 10.10.1989, OV with German subtitles

In 1979, 15-year-old Rithy Panh escapes from a re-education camp in Cambodia to France. 20 years later, he returns to the camp Site 2 on the Thai border. He films the life of the refugees in a very confined space, in no-man’s-land, in forced inactivity and dependence. The film focuses on Yim Om and her family. The film, like her, does not leave the camp, crosses it in long journeys, observes individual scenes. In the Arsenal’s 2019 programme, Rithy Panh’s entire oeuvre is presented under the term “cinematic work of grief and remembrance”: “His films are as introspective as they are sensitive and often resemble archaeological efforts: to preserve the memory of the dead without graves, to give back words to the people, to investigate, to understand and explain.”

Rithy Panh (*1964) is a well-known Cambodian filmmaker, who has addressed Cambodia’s violent post-colonial history in numerous documentaries. He founded the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre (BARC), a film school and media centre in Pnom Penh. His films have been screened and received numerous awards, among others, in Berlin and Cannes. For Das kleine Fernsehspiel, he made Site 2 (1989). In 2019, a homage was dedicated to him by Arsenal cinema.