Comrade Duch: The Bookkeeper of Death

A gifted Cambodian mathematics teacher and family man turned mass killer is brought to justice after the torture and murder of 14,000 people.

Comrade duch 01
Series
Global Voices
Premiere Date
May 20, 2012
Length
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
International
Maben adrian filmmaker bio
Director

Adrian Maben

Adrian Maben was educated at Oxford University and the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome. He has directed numerous musical and art films some of which have had a theatrical release or been distributed on DVD. They include the cult Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii, Helmut Newton, Catherine Deneuve and Sigourney Weaver in Frames from the Edge,Hieronymus Show more Bosch in The Delights of Hell, and Monsieur Rene Magritte. Some 20 years of his professional career was taken up with major 20th century artists. From 1999 to 2001 he directed three films for ARTE on the history of the Cambodian Khmer Rouge movement. From 2001 to 2003 he was the director of two films shot in Southeast Asia concerning the life of the fabled white elephant: The Fall of the Divine Elephant. From 2003 to 2007 he was director for ARTE of a series of four films: MAO, a Chinese Tale. Maben has received several prizes for individual films and a career prize at both the Montreal Art Film Festival, 1993 and at the Festival d’Asolo in Veneto, Italy, 2006. Show less

Pitkethly lawrence filmmaker bio
Producer

Lawrence Pitkethly

Lawrence Pitkethly trained in production at the BBC where he also worked as an on-camera reporter for Panorama. He has directed 17 documentaries and produced more than 40. He conceived, co-wrote, and co-produced the Voices and Visions series on American poets (PBS), named by Time Magazine the "best cultural series on American TV 1988," and directed four Show more episodes of the series. He produced the 10-part American Cinema series (PBS/BBC/Canal Plus/Premiere/Dentsu) in 1995 and directed three episodes of the series. He wrote and directed Joseph Brodsky/A Maddening Space for Channel 4 and PBS in the U.K. In 2000 he wrote and co-directed a 90 minute doc, Belfast My Love on the Northern Ireland peace process for ARTE and RTE. He is currently professor of cinema studies at the American University of Paris where he also co-founded the film department. He is also currently hosting on-camera The Burning of Bombay Street, a documentary for BBC Northern Ireland. Show less

Co-Producer

Krysanne Katsoolis

Krysanne Katsoolis is a founding partner of Cactus Three, a New York based company that specializes in the production, financing and distribution of documentary films. Recent productions include Oscar winner The Cove; Academy Award nominee Which Way Home; Sketches of Frank Gehry, directed by Sydney Pollack; Once in a Lifetime for Miramax Films; Family Bonds, Show more an HBO series; loud QUIETloud — A Film About the Pixies directed by Steven Cantor and Matt Galkin; and Nine Lives of Marion Barry for HBO. Katsoolis has more than 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. She is an attorney and began her entertainment career in business and legal affairs at Miramax Films. Prior to forming Cactus Three she was the head of acquisitions and co-productions for Fox Lorber and Wellspring where she built a library of more than 3,000 titles of award-winning films and series for U.S. and international distribution. Show less

Co-Executive Producer

Nick Fraser

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The Film

Comrade Duch murdered 14,000 people on behalf of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia's Tuol Sleng prison in the 1970 and 1980s. Today, the repentant killer has been confronted by evidence of his horrendous crimes against humanity in a court, and by the people of Cambodia who suffered at his hands.
Comrade Duch murdered 14,000 people on behalf of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia's Tuol Sleng prison in the 1970 and 1980s. Today, the repentant killer has been confronted by evidence of his horrendous crimes against humanity in a court, and by the people of Cambodia who suffered at his hands.

In the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia, Duch (born Kaing Guek Eav) and onlookers watch wrenching tribunal footage, and face the anguish and anger of relatives of Tuol Sleng victims.

Comrade Duch might never have been captured and brought to trial if not for Irish photojournalist Nic Dunlop, who searched tirelessly for Duch until finding him in a remote area near the Thai border, 20 years after his escape from Tuol Sleng and subsequent conversion to evangelical Christianity.

Because of the intervening years and the radical change Duch underwent while in hiding, it is not a simple matter to condemn the man. And yet it is especially terrifying to realize this mild-mannered math teacher could have turned turned into such a viscious sadist for years, and then suddenly converted to a peaceful and devout Christian. Perhaps it is simply too much to believe. It is up to the court to decide what justice awaits the born-again executioner.
In the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia, Duch (born Kaing Guek Eav) and onlookers watch wrenching tribunal footage, and face the anguish and anger of relatives of Tuol Sleng victims.

Comrade Duch might never have been captured and brought to trial if not for Irish photojournalist Nic Dunlop, who searched tirelessly for Duch until finding him in a remote area near the Thai border, 20 years after his escape from Tuol Sleng and subsequent conversion to evangelical Christianity.

Because of the intervening years and the radical change Duch underwent while in hiding, it is not a simple matter to condemn the man. And yet it is especially terrifying to realize this mild-mannered math teacher could have turned turned into such a viscious sadist for years, and then suddenly converted to a peaceful and devout Christian. Perhaps it is simply too much to believe. It is up to the court to decide what justice awaits the born-again executioner.

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