Scripps College to Host Celebration of Cambodian Film and Contemporary Music

Scripps College in Claremont has extended a special welcome to the Los Angeles and Long Beach-based Cambodian communities to attend a premiere performance of music by iconic Cambodian composer Chinary Ung this Saturday.

Ung and acclaimed filmmaker Rithy Panh are visiting the liberal arts college for a weeklong residency to culminate in a performance of new music and the screening of Panh’s 2014 documentary to “celebrate the role of the arts in healing a nation,” the college announced this week.

In addition to the premiere, several films will be screened exploring the impacts of the Khmer Rouge regime’s decimation of Cambodian culture between 1975 and 1979, causing the deaths of some 1.8 million people. Emerging from a climate of fear and oppression, Cambodian artists are attempting to revive the country’s artistic traditions.

The Missing Pictures and Sounds of Memory: A Celebration of Cambodian Film and Contemporary Classical Music will take place from 7:30PM to 11:00PM at Garrison Theater on campus.

Ung’s new work, Therigatha Inside Aura, was commissioned by Associate Professor of Music Anne Harley, and draws from the ancient Buddhist collection of women’s scriptures, the Therigatha, the earliest collection of women’s writings in the world, according to the announcement. The poems reaffirm the equality of the sexes in early Buddhist spiritual practice. As one of the leading American composers of classical music today, Ung has set the texts in Khmer, Pali and English.

Performing Therigatha will be Stacey Fraser and Harley sopranos/percussion, Susan Ung, viola/voice, Brian Walsh, clarinets/voice, and Nick Terry, percussion/voice, according to the release.

Following the premiere, a conversation on the arts in Cambodian society with Ung and Panh, the latter of whom produced Angelina Jolie’s recent film on the Cambodian genocide, “First They Killed My Father”, will be moderated by Harley and Professor of French Nathalie Rachlin.

The evening will close with a screening of Panh’s documentary, The Missing Picture, which uses handmade clay figurines to depict the suffering of his family brought on by the Khmer Rouge regime.

The premiere performance and film screenings are free and open to the public. For the full list of events, visit the website here.

Garrison Theater at Scripps College is located at 231 East 10th Street, Claremont, CA, 91711.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.