PBS Premiere: July 22, 2003
Arn Chorn-Pond was only a boy when the brutal Khmer Rouge regime overran Cambodia and turned his country into a ghastly land of “killing fields.” While most of Arn’s family, and 90 percent of the country’s musicians, were killed, Arn was kept alive to play propaganda songs on the flute for his captors. Now, after being adopted and living in the United States for 20 years, Arn goes back to Cambodia in The Flute Player, seeking out surviving “master musicians” and facing the dark shadows of his war-torn past. As the film follows Arn on his journey from Lowell, Massachusetts to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, his life is seen through his work in both communities of Cambodians. An extraordinary story of survival, the film is a testament to one man’s ability to transcend tragedy. An Independent Television Service (ITVS) co-presentation.