Mao Ayuth, Filmmaker Who Survived the Khmer Rouge, Dies at 76

It would be about another decade before his second film was screened, in 1988. That movie, “ Chet Chong Cham ” (“I Want To Remember”), a ...


It would be about another decade before his second film was screened, in 1988. That movie, “Chet Chong Cham” (“I Want To Remember”), a story of survival during the previous decades of civil war and ruin, is told in flashbacks within flashbacks. It, too, proved popular among a people hungry to see scenes from their recent past.

Mr. Mao Ayuth’s most popular film, “Ne Sat Kror Per” (“The Crocodile”), in 2005, was based loosely on his childhood memories of crocodile hunters, telling the story of a hunt for the mythical Crocodile King.

He was born on July 8, 1944, in Kampong Cham province, in the central lowlands. His father, Men Thoeung, was a commune official. His mother was Tai Sing.

After attending a scriptwriting program in the early 1960s, Mr. Mao Ayuth worked at Cambodia’s first television station, starting as a production assistant and rising to news director.

A decade later he went to France with a stipend from the national television and radio agency. While on a vacation in the Swiss Alps, he used his hand-cranked camera to produce footage that became part of “Beth Phnek Hek Troung.” The winter scenes of mountains, ski lifts and tourists in fur hats were a thrill for Cambodians, who had never seen snow.

He is survived by his widow, So Samony; four daughters, Mao Bophany, Mao Moni Na, Mao Moni Neath and Mao Moni Roath; and one son, Mao Makara.

Mr. Mao Ayuth was appointed secretary of state in the Ministry of Information in 1993. He was also president of the Association of Television Stations of Cambodia.

Sun Narin contributed reporting from Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Mao Ayuth, Filmmaker Who Survived the Khmer Rouge, Dies at 76
Mao Ayuth, Filmmaker Who Survived the Khmer Rouge, Dies at 76
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