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December 19, 2017 | What Did You Think?,

What Did You Think of Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia

Thank you for joining us for a Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia. We are so proud to host this production after months of planning and partnership with organizations from Lowell to Phnom Penh. Artists Rithy Pahn and Him Sophy created this piece to spark conversation across generations in the hope that in learning our histories and sharing our stories we can move forward together.

Share your thoughts or highlights of your own conversations in the comments below.

4 responses to “What Did You Think of Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia”

  1. Zeren Earls says:

    It was a beautiful and moving performance. It was wonderful to see so many Cambodians in the audience as well.

  2. Susan Bennett says:

    It was a very special, deep and beautiful experience. The music was exquisite and beautifully done. The two lead singers were fabulous, as was the choir and instrumentalists, all led with perfect timing and grace by Andrew Cyr. An amazing production!

  3. John T says:

    For context, I am an American-born white male married to a Cambodian born in 1980. I would say her family’s experience from the period of concern is about middle of the road.

    First, I was surprised that there were not more Cambodians in the audience. There were some, to be sure, but I would estimate no more than 10%. Perhaps the expense and distance from the Cambodian population centers made it difficult. Probably a more prominent reason, highlighted in the event and the discussion afterward is the difficulty in facing such a difficult and complicated past. For instance, despite my wife’s family suffered serious impact during the KR time but are somewhat sympathetic to its leaders, whom they considered to fighting for a ‘true’ Cambodia under difficult circumstances, as opposed to the current government.

    Second, I found the level of graphic portrayal about right. It wasn’t unnecessarily evocative but most people of whatever previous exposure could get an idea of the trauma done and pathway for recovery. There was one part that showed video of hungry crocodiles. My wife’s families found out the 30 years after the fact (probably because they were not previously ready) that her grandfather had been publicly executed in such a manner to instill discipline in others. So she felt the experience of her grandfather recognized by others when she saw the crocodiles on screen, without being lectured on how she should feel about it.

    Finally, it was really nice to see some Cambodian mental health professionals on stage at the end of the performance, especially their speaking that helping others allows them to feel better themselves.

  4. I thought the performance a moving one. I only wished I had read the playbill beforehand, because I wanted translations for the lyrics. The next day, I did read it, and found myself taking notes on ideas about compassion. Suffice to say, I am so glad I saw this important, difficult, resounding work

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