Rithy Panh

Rithy Panh (Khmer: ប៉ាន់ រិទ្ធី) (born April 18, 1964 in Phnom Penh) is an internationally and critically acclaimed Cambodian documentary film director and screenwriter. The French-schooled director's films focus on the aftermath of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. Rithy Panh's works are from an authoritative viewpoint, because his family were expelled from Phnom Penh in 1975 by the Khmer Rouge. One after another, his father, mother, sisters and nephews died of starvation or exhaustion, as they were held in a remote labor camp in rural Cambodia. Rithy Panh was born in Phnom Penh. His father was a school teacher and inspector of primary schools. His family and other residents were expelled from the Cambodian capital in 1975 by the Khmer Rouge. Rithy's family suffered under the regime, and after he saw his parents, siblings and other relatives die of overwork or malnutrition, Rithy escaped to Thailand in 1979, where he lived for a time in a refugee camp at Mairut. Eventually, he made his way to Paris, France. It was while he was attending vocational school to learn carpentry that he was handed a video camera during a party that he became interested in film-making.

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