A New Paradigm for the Genocidal Interview: The Documentary Duel and the Question of Collaboration


  • Raya Morag The Hebrew University



Słowa kluczowe:

Perpetrator Era, perpetrator cinema, Cambodian autogenocide, genocidal interview, documentary duel, moral resentment, perpetration, collaboration


A global boom in mainly documentary films interviewing perpetrators recognizes the current shift from the era of the witness to that of the perpetrator. Post Khmer-Rouge Cambodian cinema (1989–present) is a unique and highly important case of perpetrator cinema. It proposes for the first time in cinema direct confrontation between first-generation survivor-filmmakers and perpetrators, a new form of genocidal interview: the documentary duel. Enabled both by the intimate horror of the autogenocide and the Khmer Rouge tribunal (the ECCC), dueling with high-ranking perpetrators shifts power relations between the two. In contrast, dueling with low-ranking perpetrators and collaborators, never to be tried, does not generate this much-desired shift. Thus, Cambodian collaboration revealed through cinema stresses the immense importance of the law in promoting familial-social-cultural processes of acknowledgement of accountability. Further, Cambodian duel documentaries constitute the ethics of “moral resentment” (my term), while objecting to and disrupting the political view that reconciliation is the only legitimate response to the atrocious past.


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Jak cytować

Morag, R. (2023). A New Paradigm for the Genocidal Interview: The Documentary Duel and the Question of Collaboration. Panoptikum, (29), 78–93. https://doi.org/10.26881/pan.2023.29.05