Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll
With live performance by Chhom Nimol and Zac Holtzman of Dengue Fever!
During the ’60s and early ’70s, as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, Cambodian musicians were crafting a sound from the various rock music styles sweeping America, England, and France, adding the unique melodies and hypnotic rhythms of their traditional music. The beautiful singing of their renowned female vocalists became the final touch that made this mix so enticing.
However, as Cambodian society – young creative musicians in particular – embraced western culture and flourished under its influence, the rest of the country was rapidly moving toward war. After taking over the country in April 1975, the Khmer Rouge began wiping out all traces of modernity and Western influence.
John Pirozzi’s fast and entertaining film tracks the twists and turns of Cambodian music as it morphs into rock and roll, blossoms, and is nearly destroyed along with the rest of the country.
Immediately following the screening, Chhom Nimol and Zac Holtzman of Cambodian-American band Dengue Fever will perform a short intimate set paying tribute to the film’s music.
A rich and defiant effort at recovery, showing that even the most murderous totalitarianism cannot fully erase the human drive for pleasure and self-expression.
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Co-presenter: Asia Society Texas Center
Directed by John Pirozzi
Cinematography by John Pirozzi
Editing by Daniel Littlewood, Greg Wright, Matthew Prinzing
Music by Scot Stafford
Cast: Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Serey Sothea, Bayon Band, Baksey Cham Krong
Running time: 105 mins