Comments of the People: Viewers Reflect on ‘Enemies of the People’

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Each Friday, we share a selection of comments relating to the week’s documentary broadcast. This week, viewers posted their reactions to Enemies of the People, a shocking assemblage of never-before-seen testimony from high-ranking officers and foot soldiers of the Khmer Rouge. You shared your own experiences and discussed the film’s gripping personal interviews on the Enemies of the People film companion site, Facebook and Twitter.


“I want to thank Thet Sambath and Rob Lemkin for
shedding light on this dark chapter of Cambodian history. The story
is especially important to me because I am married to a survivor of
the killing fields who still lives with the emotional scars from her
early childhood. Her immediate family managed to escape
the re-education/work camp and make their way to Thailand, and
eventually to the US. Sadly, her mother, baby brother, and other
members of her extended family perished. As tragic as her story is,
she is one of the lucky ones.”
— Larry Jelley

“Incredible piece of film making. Sambath’s patience and dedication is incredible. Many thanks to him, and to his wife and his children for their patience and sacrifice so that Thet could bring understanding to this watershed piece of history for the rest of the world. Staring into the eyes of the killers through my television screen, and seeing their pain and sorrow for what they did, brings hope for healing for Cambodia, and hope to the rest of the world that maybe massacre of this magnitude need never happen again.”
— Eric Lawson

“@povdocs real as it gets right now “Enemies Of The People” #khmerRouge”
localclowncrew (via Twitter)

“Just finished watching @povdocs enemies of the people. I feel very sad and inspired at the same time.”
theotherjue (via Twitter)

“seeing the death in this film remind me of being a kid from cambodia to thai border, hundreds of people dying on the road and fields. i lost my father, 2 younger sisters during the khmer rouge era. today im bringing baseball to heal and replace my past. thank you to pov, pbs, the filmmaker, producer, editors and everyone who made and watched this film. i am honor of sambath and his family, i hope to pay my respect in person.”
— Joe Cook (via Facebook)

We’d love to hear more of your thoughts on Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath’s film. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch Enemies of the People online for free through August 12, 2011, then visit our Enemies of the People film companion site, Facebook or Twitter and tell us what you thought!

Watch the full episode. See more POV.

Ashlin Aronin
Ashlin Aronin
Ashlin Aronin is a 2011 intern in POV's Digital department. He is currently a student at Wesleyan University where he works as a videographer in the New Media Lab. Ashlin enjoys watching a wide range of films, but he is particularly interested in those which blur the line between truth and fiction. His favorite documentaries include: 1. Nobody's Business - Alan Berliner 2. Exit Through the Gift Shop - Banksy 3. Capturing the Friedmans - Andrew Jarecki 4. High School - Frederick Wiseman 5. F for Fake - Orson Welles