Who is Duch?

Antonia D. Bryan

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Photograph: John Vink

I arrived in Cambodia for the first time in 2010. Beyond the scrum of Phnom Penh International Airport, the night smelled of jasmine and dust. The next day, I was taken to Choeung Ek, the Killing Fields, to begin work that would lead me on a remarkable journey, resulting in two audio tours that would change my perspective utterly. I wanted to come as a visitor without preconceptions, so I had done little research. I had a vague memory of being moved and frightened by the 1984 film The Killing Fields, of wondering if it was exaggerated for dramatic purposes. Surely, it could not possibly be true.

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