Bophana: A Cambodian Tragedy
(Bophana: Une tragédie Cambodgienne)
Rithy Panh’s harrowing inquiry into the lives and deaths of two casualties of the Pol Pot regime—Hout Bophana and her husband, Ly Sitha, an ex-Buddhist monk and former Khmer Rouge soldier—is the namesake of the audiovisual resource center Panh founded in Phnom Penh a decade after making this film. Bophana also means “flower.” The film is pieced together from the couple’s correspondence, forced confessions, and other chilling evidence. Today Bophana’s haunting photograph takes its place with hundreds of others covering the walls of S-21, the former high school and dreaded interrogation center that is now a genocide museum in Phnom Penh.