Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll

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USA | 2015 | 106 minutes | John Pirozzi

In 1975 the Khmer Rouge began systematically eliminating all traces of Western influenced culture and arts, including the flourishing new music scene mixing Western rock ‘n’ roll with Cambodian female vocals. This documentary is a celebration of the music and its triumph over destruction.

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In the 1960s, the increased American presence in the Vietnam War helped rock ‘n’ roll reach Cambodia, encouraging the emergence of a vibrant new sound like no other: a blend of Western grooves, traditional Eastern melodies, and hypnotic, often female, vocals. Just as this new Cambodian music scene was flourishing, the country underwent a drastic change, and on April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge began ruthlessly wiping out all traces of modernity and Western influence. But they couldn't stop the music, which became treasured by record collectors around the world and would go on to inspire a new generation of musicians, including American indie band Dengue Fever. Filmmaker John Pirozzi spent a decade researching the twists and shouts of Cambodia's lost pop music, tracking down surviving musicians and restoring recordings from rare vinyl pressings. Exposing the tragedy and heartbreak that occurred as clubs were closed, record collections were destroyed, and musicians were targeted and killed, Don't Think I've Forgotten is also a musical restoration of the country's history, a celebration of art, and an homage to those who paid for it with their lives.

Director Biography
John Pirozzi is a cinematographer and camera operator and has worked on films such as Boys Dont Cry, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man and Radio Unnameable. Don’t Think I’Ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll is his second feature film as director.

Sponsored by Muckleshoot Tribe, KEXP 90.3 FM, EMP Museum, Delta Air Lines

  • Director: John Pirozzi
  • Principal Cast: Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Serey Sothea, Baksey Cham Krong
  • Country: USA, Cambodia
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 106 minutes
  • Producer: Andrew Pope, John Pirozzi
  • Cinematographers: John Pirozzi
  • Editors: Daniel Littlewood, Matt Prinzing, Greg Wright
  • Music: Scot Stafford
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Sleepwalking Through the Mekong (Doc, 2007)
  • Language: English, Khmer, French
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: CAT&Docs