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

http://www.dtifcambodia.com/
Directed by John Pirozzi
USA / Cambodia, 2014, 106 min, in English, Khmer and French with English Subtitles

Through the eyes, words and songs of its popular music stars of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, DON'T THINK I'VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA'S LOST ROCK AND ROLL examines and unravels Cambodia's recent tragic past.

"Fitting into a niche of heart-stirring music documentaries like
'Searching for Sugar Man' and '20 Feet From Stardom.'"
- New York Times



 

UPCOMING SCREENINGS 

 

Miami, FL
April 15, 2017
 
Silver Spring, MD
April 29-30, 2017

PREVIOUS SCREENINGS

Bedford, MA
October 26, 2016
Gainesville, FL
May 19 & 21, 2016
Cyclops Cinema
Harrisonburg, VA
March 31, 2016
James Madison University - Reel Change Film Festival
*Skype Q&A with director John Pirozzi
Seattle, WA
February 20, 2016
Seattle Asian American Film Festival
Brooklyn, NY
February 16, 2016
Pratt Film Society
*Director John Pirozzi in person
Minneapolis, MN
January 8, 2016

Santa Ana, CA
December 11-23, 2015
 
Milwaukee, WI
December 10, 2015
 
Houston, TX
November 19, 2015
*Chhom Nimol and Zac Holtzman of Dengue Fever in person
 
Philadelphia, PA
November 16, 2015
 
Burlington, VT
October 30, 2015
 
Santa Ana, CA
October 17, 2015
 
Minneapolis, MN
October 14, 2015
*Presented by Sound Unseen
 
Lexington, KY
October 10, 2015
FilmSlang - Presented by Lexington Film League
 
Columbia, SC
September 21, 2015
 
Florence, OR
August 25, 2015
 
Vancouver, BC
August 10, 2015
Vancity Theatre - Music Mondays
 
Louisville, KY
August 9, 2015
 
Pleasantville, NY
August 4, 2015
Jacob Burns Film Center
 
Jacksonville, FL
August 3, 2015
Sun-Ray Cinema
 
Stockton, CA
August 2, 2015
 
Boston, MA
July 31-August 3, 2015
 
Cleveland, OH
July 31, 2015
 
Memphis, TN
 
Buffalo, NY
July 28, 2015

Omaha, NE

July 26, 2015
Film Streams
 
Tallahassee, FL
July 25 & 26, August 1, 2015
Tallahassee Film Society
 
Amherst, MA
July 24-30, 2015
Amherst Cinema
*Director John Pirozzi and Nate Hun in attendance opening night
 
Philadelphia, PA
July 22, 2015
International House
*Director John Pirozzi in attendance
 
Hartford, CT
July 18-19, 2015
Real Art Ways
 
Kansas City, MO
July 14, 2015

Bloomington, IN
July 10, 2015
The Bishop
*Presented by Landlocked Music

Helena, MT
July 9-22, 2015
 
Winchester, VA
July 8, 2015
*Q&A with Mol Kagnol, musician from the film

Baltimore, MD
July 4, 6, 9, 2015
Charles Theatre - Revival Series

Dallas, TX
July 2, 2015
 
Atlanta, GA
July 1, 2015
*Presented by Dust-to-Digital and Argot Pictures
 
Honolulu, HI
June 30-July 3, 2015
 
Long Beach, CA
June 27-30 & July 3-5, 10-16, 2015
 
Nashville, TN
June 26-July 2, 2015
The Belcourt
*Fri 6/26: Skype Q&A with Mol Kagnol, musician from the film 
 
Calgary, Alberta
June 25, 2015
 
Chico, CA
June 21, 2015
Pageant Theatre
 
Seattle, WA
June 19-25, 2015
SIFF Film Center
 
Austin, TX
June 19-25, 2015

Bellingham, WA
June 19-25, 2015
Pickford Film Center

Denver, CO
June 16, 2015

Salt Lake City, UT
June 16, 2015
Utah Film Center

Santa Fe, NM
June 12-18, 2015
The Screen

Portland, ME
June 11, 2015
Space Gallery
 
Albuquerque, NM
June 9-13, 2015
 
Boone, NC
June 7, 2015
 
San Diego, CA
June 5-13, 15, 18, 2015
 
Lowell, MA
June 5-7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 2015
 
Tucson, AZ
June 5-11, 2015
The Loft
 
Los Angeles, CA
May 30-31, 2015

Silver Spring, MD
May 29-June 17, 2015
AFI Silver

Pittsburgh, PA
May 29-June 4, 2015
Hollywood Theater

Winston-Salem, NC
May 29-June 4, 2015

Phoenix, AZ
May 28-30, 2015
FilmBar

Columbus, OH
May 28 & 29, 2015
Wexner Center for the Arts

Savannah, GA
May 28, 2015
Muse Arts Warehouse*
*Presented by the Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah
 
Portland, OR
May 27, June 8 & 25, July 6, August 2, 2015
Hollywood Theatre
*Presented with Mississippi Records
 
Rochester, NY
May 26, 2015
 
Vancouver, BC
May 24, 2015
Best of DOXA Documentary Film Festival
 
Seattle, WA
May 23 & June 2-3, 2015
Seattle International Film Festival

Santa Barbara, CA
May 21, 2015
Pollock Theater - University California Santa Barbara 

Nashville, TN
May 21, 2015

Los Angeles, CA
May 15-28, 2015
Laemmle Theaters - NoHo 7

New Orleans, LA
May 15-21, 25, 26, 28, 2015
Indywood

Providence, RI
May 15-21, 2015
Cable Car Cinema

Soundtrack Release
Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll
May 12, 2015
Dust-to-Digital
 
San Francisco, CA
May 8-30, 2015
Balboa Theatre

Berkeley, CA
May 8-21, 2015
Rialto Cinemas Elmwood

Sebastopol, CA
May 8-21, 2015
Rialto Cinemas

Hudson, NY
May 7-11, 2015
Time & Space Limited
 
Huntington, NY
May 6, 2015
Cinema Arts Centre
*Director John Pirozzi in attendance
 
Vancouver, BC
May 3, 2015
DOXA Documentary Film Festival
 
Sag Harbor, NY
May 1-7, 2015
Sag Harbor Cinema
 
New York, NY
April 29-May 28, 2015
IFC Center
 
Silver Spring, MD
April 29, 2015
AFI Silver
*Screening followed by concert with original Cambodian musicians
 
Minneapolis, MN
April 28, 2015
St. Anthony Main
*Part of 'Best of Fest' series from Minneapolis/St.Paul International Film Festival
 
Lowell, MA
April 26, 2015
Sampao Meas Reception Hall
- 'Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten' Concert: Featuring musicians from the film
 
Detroit, MI
April 25-26, 2015
Detroit Institute of Arts
 
Lowell, MA
April 24-May 7, 2015
Showcase Cinemas
Sat 4/25 @ 7pm & Sun 4/26 @3:30pm: Q&A with director John Pirozzi and special musical guests
 
New York, NY
April 24, 2015
City Winery - 'Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten' Concert: Featuring musicians from the film 
 
New York, NY
April 22-28, 2015
Film Forum
Wed 4/22 & Fri 4/24 @ 7:40: Q&A with director John Pirozzi and special musical guests.
 
Chicago, IL
April 16, 2015
CIMMFEST
 
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
April 13 & 17, 2015
Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival
 
Madison, WI
April 12 & 15, 2015
Wisconsin Film Festival
 
San Francisco, CA
March 18 & 19, 2015
CAAMFest
*Director John Pirozzi in attendance
 
Whitehorse, Canada

Missoula, MT
February 8, 2015
Big Sky Documentary Festival

Clarksdale, MS
January 29-31, 2015
Clarksdale Film Festival

Montreal, CA
October 12 & 14, 2014
Festival Du Nouveau Cinema de Montreal

Toronto, CA
November 6-16, 2014
Reel Asian Film Festival

New York, NY
November 15, 2014 @ 4:30pm
Doc NYC
*Director John Pirozzi in attendance

SYNOPSIS

SHORT SYNOPSIS

Through the eyes, words and songs of its popular music stars of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL examines and unravels Cambodia’s tragic past. Combining interviews with surviving musicians and never-before-seen archival material and rare songs, the film tracks the winding course of Cambodian music as it morphs into a unique style of rock and roll. A vibrant musical culture that was nearly lost forever under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime is revived and celebrated.

LONG SYNOPSIS

During the 60’s and early 70’s, as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock and roll and stood it on its head – creating a sound like no other.

Cambodian musicians crafted this 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.

But as Cambodian society - young creative musicians in particular - embraced western culture and flourished under its influence, the rest of the country was rapidly moving to war. On the left, Prince Sihanouk joined forces with the Khmer Rouge and rallied the rural population to take up arms against the government that deposed him. On the right, the Cambodian military, with American military support, waged a war that involved a massive aerial bombing campaign on the countryside. In the end, after winning the civil war, the Khmer Rouge turned their deadly focus to the culture of Cambodia.

After taking over the country on April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge began wiping out all traces of modernity and Western influence. Intellectuals, artists and musicians were specifically and systematically targeted and eliminated. Thus began one of the most brutal genocides in history, killing an estimated two million people – a quarter of the Cambodian population.

DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL 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. This documentary film provides a new perspective on a country usually associated with only war and genocide.

TRAILER

REVIEWS

"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."
New York Times - Written by A.O. Scott (NYT Critics' Pick)

"Every bit as entrancing and haunting as the lost music it celebrates."
A.V. Club

"A rich patchwork tapestry of powerful and ebullient music."
Village Voice (Critics' Pick)

"If Don't Think I've Forgotten is any indication, this Southeast Asian country has a lot of soul."
Hollywood Reporter

"Very good and moving. Deserves the widest possible audience."
San Francisco Chronicle

"A fervent cry for the power of music."
Washington Post

"The music, the stuff of cultish collectors for decades, is thrilling."

"Resurrects and revives this ghost music, breathing life into it once again."
LA Weekly

"Does more than document a lost moment in time—it may also generate new knowledge and connections through its circulation. A moving and valuable project."
Pacific Affairs

"Essential. You’ll never understand the soul of a people without taking a long, close look at their cultural life."
Gambit Weekly

"A living archive."
Art 21 Magazine

"Eye-opening and moving."
Chicago Reader

"A musical restoration of the country's history, a celebration of art, and an homage to those who paid for it with their lives."
The Stranger

"There is a universal appeal."
Seattle Times

"A poignant and important reminder that art matters."
Austin Chronicle

"Heartbreaking. A tough but uplifting reminder that no matter what awful things humans do to each other, art survives."
Pittsburgh City Paper

"What a bold feat of a film this is! If you love music...then you need to see this film."
Examiner.com

"Beautiful, atmospheric and most of all lively."
Review Express

"Striking work."
Washington City Paper

"A brilliant cultural excavation, connecting survivors' memories to a generation's worth of energetic music."
East Bay Express (Ten Best Movies of the Year)

"The sheer range of music on offer is astonishing."
The Dissolve

"More than a music documentary."
Spectrum Culture

"Makes the whole period come alive."
Film Journal International

"Carries with it a sense of discovery so profound it’s practically archaeological."
Weekly Alibi

"Engaging and detailed. A kind of cultural restoration project."
Bay Area Reporter

"Infectious music. Shattering."
Mother Jones

"What makes this film unique – and uniquely powerful – is its detailed account of the richness and vitality of the culture that was all but destroyed by the Khmer Rouge."
Asian Educational Media Service

"This film is captivating, moving, and informative—it’s an outstanding production."
Educational Media Reviews Online

"A powerful film about the enduring legacy of a culture's music even in times of severe repression, this is highly recommended."
Video Librarian

"A huge revelation for the music history books...Provides a completely refreshing new perspective."
Sound Diego

"Riveting. At once exotic and familiar, intoxicating and revelatory."
Asbury Park Press

"A poetic remembering of a culture lost during war. Serves as an ode to gentle, loving people who suffered terribly, but somehow have kept their spirit."
Helena Independent Record

"This story needs to be told, and this music needs to be heard."
Santa Fe New Mexican

"Stunningly told and peerlessly edited. Lush with gorgeous sights and sounds."
KEXP Blog

"A celebration of music's resilient, lingering power."
Twitchfilm.com

"A fascinating, beautifully realized story that urgently needs telling."
Nonfics.com

"An irresistible documentary exploration of the wonderfully lush and occasionally psychedelic popular music produced in Cambodia."

"Pirozzi gets it right. [The film] assists in deepening the humanity and underscoring the richness of Cambodian culture."
From the Projection Room

"A labor of love that shines the spotlight on performers who made great music and whose legacy was almost erased."
Ink 19

"Mesmerizing."
Reel and Rock

"Crucial. A testament to human resilience."
Rochester City Newspaper

"This is a fantastic film then, filled with terrific music and colourful characters, all tied together by an astute journalistic heart."
Reel World Reviews

"Any admirer of historic footage will love the jewels to be found in this film."
ArtsHub

"A giddy whirlwind...tons of vintage footage."
Film-Forward

"Cambodia's music scene had plenty to offer."
San Francisco Weekly

"Employs clever animation and colorful sequences to capture the energy of the rock scene."
Folio Weekly

"Reminds us of music's essential role as cultural unifier."
VITA.MN

"This film does a great job capturing this little known gem of history.”
Madison Film Forum

"A glowing tribute to the universality of art."
Louis Proyect

INTERVIEWS & MEDIA

"Fitting into a niche of heart-stirring music documentaries like 'Searching for Sugar Man' and '20 Feet From Stardom.'"
New York Times Feature - Written by Ben Sisario

Video Review
New York Times

"A Go Go" Clip
New York Times

"That the documentary exists at all is a triumph."
Rolling Stone

"Personal and detailed. This project was an extensive undertaking."
VICE

"Remarkable. The footage is a revelation."
Boston Globe Feature

"The country’s music scene was special—a vital force in a rapidly changing nation."
Wall Street Journal

"The sound is thrillingly new for American audiences."
New Republic

"Revives a lost art. Bracing."
New York Daily News

"Sometimes a music documentary reaches a state of transcendence. John Pirozzi’s new film is that kind of movie."
Phoenix New Times

"Paints a picture of...Phnom Penh as a vibrant city teeming with garage bands and rebellious rockers."
Newsday

"Patches together the vibrant, fraught history of the Cambodian rock and roll scene."
Huffington Post

"A spellbinding survey of Cambodia’s lost era of psychedelia-infused lounge rock and roll. A high watermark of investigative journalism."
BOMB Magazine

"Insightful. Compelling."
Slant

"A real crowd-pleaser."
San Francisco Chronicle Feature

“Goes beyond the sounds themselves to weave an emotional tale of how important music is to a society."
OC Weekly

"Does the world a service in documenting the era."
Examiner.com

"You can’t help but marvel at the power of (music) to sustain itself through the people who made it, and those who love it."
Al Jazeera America

"Part historical document, part celebration of a nearly lost form."
Columbus Alive

"Wonderful trove of well-edited archival footage."
Seattle Weekly

"Expertly weaves Cambodian history and political strife through the lens of rock and roll."
Bitch

"[An] extraordinary story of the spirit of youth culture in the face of genocide"
Neon Signs

"An essential document for anyone with an interest in the history of popular music from around the world."
Creative Loafing

Open City

All Things Considered
NPR

The Leonard Lopate Show
WNYC

Newshour
BBC World Service

WorldBrief
Huffington Post Live

Sound Advice
NY1

Tom Schnabel's Rhythm Planet
KCRW

Press Play with Madeleine Brand
KCRW

Bodega Pop Live with Gary Sullivan
WFMU

Worldview
WBEZ

Democracy Now!

Art Uncovered
BreakThru Radio

Sing Out
KPFA

Off-Ramp
KPCC

WABE

Sound It Out

International Examiner

Killer Movie Reviews

Artinfo.com

Racialicious

Hannah Dunphy interviews Dr. LinDa Saphan
International Center for Transitional Justice
 

"Explores the unique fusion of sounds coming out of Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s."
Cambodia Daily

Bangkok Post

Phnom Penh Post

Phnom Penh Post

VOA News

Phnom Pen Pal

STILLS

dontthink_Poster_full

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  Ros Serey Sothea (Photo from personal collection of Ros Saboeun) Norodom Sihanouk [RF: Cambodia RF]

 Baksei Cham Krong (photo from personal collection of Mol Kamach)

Baksei Cham Krong (photo from personal collection of Mol Kamach)

Bayon Band (photo from personal collection of Samley Hong) 

 Unknown Cambodian soldier

Sinn Sisamouth in recording studio (photo courtesy DTIF Cambodia LLC)

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