March 2008

A Courageous Soul

by socheata on March 31, 2008

My friend Bou Dith Pran died yesterday.

His life was depicted in his film, the Killing Fields. For most Americans, the first and perhaps only time, they heard about the Cambodian genocide was through his story.

I met Bou for the first time when I was 22 years old as a recent college graduate attending the Asian American Journalists Association convention. When I introduced myself to him, he was so excited to meet another Cambodian American journalist that he immediately took me by the hand to introduce me around to his friends. He’s a hero in that community and immediately became my best advocate.

I invited him to dinner with my family because he was missing some good Southeast Asian cooking. At dinner my sister bluntly told him that she thought her experience during thi Pol Pot time was much worse than what was depicted in the movie, the Killing Fields. He looked her squarely in the eye and said that he agreed. And in that moment I recognized that there was an understanding.

He will be missed.