The Road From Kampuchea
By Anne Henderson
When the International Campaign to Ban Landmines won the Nobel Peace Prize in December 1997, the global media devoted much attention to the campaign's director, Jody Williams, who became the peace Laureate. Much less attention was given to the co-recipient of the prize, Cambodian ex-soldier and landmine survivor Tun Channareth. The Road from Kampuchea tells his dramatic story.
"Reth" is a former resistance fighter, a fierce soldier who stepped on a mine while patrolling with his troops near the Thai border. As he lay bleeding in the minefield, his first instinct was to kill himself with his own AK-47. Fortunately, a friend disarmed him and carried him to the nearest hospital.
During the course of his long recovery, he became a disability outreach worker. He traveled to hospitals and remote villages to deliver custom-made wheelchairs to landmine survivors. He then became a spokesperson for the anti-landmine campaign, traveling to Japan and Europe to promote the cause. Eventually, he made it to Canada, where the first international treaty to ban landmines was signed by 125 countries and to Oslo, where he received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.
Reth's story is told against the rich cultural legacy of Cambodia, a country both graced with the temples of Angkar and marred by the horrific legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Young dancers perform the dance of the landmines, a reinterpretation of traditional Khmer movements into a composition memorializing this contemporary tragedy. Prach Chhuon, one of Cambodia's most famous folk musicians, shares the music of his heritage. And thanks to people like Reth, Cambodians dare to believe that, in spite of everything they have experienced, the future will be better than the past.
Purchase $248 DVD
Order No. QA-536
Left In Baghdad: After being discharged from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a happy-go-lucky American soldier returns with his wife and daughter to their home in Kentucky.
A Wheelchair for Petronilia: Profiles a program, organized and run by Guatemalans with disabilities, which trains them to manufacture and repair cheap, sturdy wheelchairs designed for conditions in developing countries.
Kiss My Wheels: Through an exhilarating season of training and competition, the members of a junior wheelchair basketball team deal with difficult issues, from gender conflicts to injury, illness, and thoughts of death.
Breakaway: This provocative documentary tells the story of the conflicted relationship between two men coping with the consequences of severe, traumatic brain injury.
Luckey: From trying to re-spark his romantic life with his wife Ettie to keeping his work going with his son Spencer, Tom Luckey wrestles with his new condition as a paralyzed person.