And the winner is…

“Red Wedding”

This powerful documentary focuses on a little-known aspect of Pol Pot’s genocidal rule. During the 1970s, 250,000 young Cambodian women were forced to marry men they never met in an effort to increase the population. The story is told through one such woman: 48-year-old Sochan, who grows rice in the former killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. At age 16, Sochan was forced to marry in a collective ceremony, and she was dishonored, over and over again, by an unknown man. “I feel sorry for my body,” she says. Although she remarried and had six children, Sochan, now a widow, has never dared tell her grown daughters the story. For the purposes of the documentary, she decides to look back. She quietly confronts several of the people responsible for her plight, and seeks justice from the Cambodian courts. To the jury, “Red Wedding” combined all of the elements of great documentary: a powerful historical episode, retold from an unexpected angle, a moving human story, and a captivating plot. Jurors praised the expert use of archive footage to juxtapose past and present. First-rate photography and lush natural settings, they said, produced a truly poetic documentary. The winner, by a unanimous vote, is: “Red Wedding” by Lida Chan and Guillaume Suon.

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