Thet Sambath

Thet Sambath



Thet Sambath is a Cambodian documentary filmmaker, journalist, editor, and producer who has worked for over 15 years to bring to light the untold stories of his country’s painful past. He is best known for his documentary Enemies of the People, which tells the story of the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia and won numerous awards and accolades.

Sambath was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 1975. He spent his childhood in the city and was exposed to the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror. In 1979, he and his family fled to a refugee camp in Thailand, where he lived for seven years. In 1986, his family moved to the United States, where they settled in Long Beach, California.

Sambath attended Long Beach City College, where he studied journalism and filmmaking. After he graduated, he returned to Cambodia in 2004 and began working as a journalist and documentary filmmaker. He set up a small production company, and his first documentary was a series called The Silent War, which focused on stories of survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide.

Sambath then began working on his most important project, Enemies of the People. This documentary tells the story of the Khmer Rouge genocide through the eyes of Nuon Chea, the former right-hand man of Pol Pot, and documents his confessions. The film took seven years to make and was released in 2010. It won numerous awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and has been praised by critics and viewers alike.

In addition to making documentaries, Sambath has also been a strong advocate for Cambodian human rights. He has served as a board member of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, and has been a vocal supporter of the country's efforts to bring Khmer Rouge perpetrators to justice.

Thet Sambath has dedicated his life to bringing the stories of the Khmer Rouge’s victims to light. His courage and dedication to uncovering the truth of Cambodia’s past has earned him international recognition and respect. He is an inspiring example of how individuals can make a difference in the world.

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