Apsaras (1988)

Genres - Culture & Society, Dance  |   Sub-Genres - Ballet, Biography, Politics & Government, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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This documentary follows a group of traditional Cambodian dancers, survivors of the massacre of their countrymen, who have studied for decades to master this complex and intricate artform. Because of its long association with the ancient royal customs of Cambodia, the dancers were a special target of the (U.S.-backed) Khmer Rouge, who have earned an especially perfidious reputation for virtually destroying every aspect of their own culture while massacring their countrymen by the million. Some of the survivors are shown coping with life as exiles in Paris, earning their livings in a variety of transient jobs while struggling to preserve their artistic heritage. In Cambodia, a few are also shown in their everyday lives and also hard at work rehearsing to perform as members of L'Ecole de Danse du Cap du Refugies du Site B; in Paris, the same applies as they rehearse to perform as part of Le Ballet Classique Khmer de Paris.

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Cambodia, coping, cultural-traditions, dancer, exile, heritage, Khmer-Rouge, massacre, struggle, survivor