The subject of the film

In 1965, as a young man, he came from Cambodia to the GDR, where he studied Mechanical Engineering, earned a doctorate, and built up a new life. Living in the GDR saved him from the homicidal Khmer Rouge regime, but being cut off from his family and culture, isolated in exile, made him lonesome. After the German reunification he, like many other engineers in East Germany, lost his job. His marriage also fell apart. Subsequently he withdrew into himself, a little more year after year. On his deathbed Ottara Kem expressed his desire to be buried in his homeland Cambodia. For his daughters it is the beginning of a journey into the unknown. Slowly they discover their strange, new home. They encounter love, reconciliation, and a deep bond that even overcomes the horror of the Khmer Rouge.Many members of the Kem family were imprisoned, tortured, and killed during the Khmer Rouge rule. The encounters with the survivors are all the more astonishing and touching as they show that kindness and love, despite all horror, are stronger than hatred and violence. The film bridges the gap between European Germany and the GDR as well as the past and the current Cambodia. Thereby, it gives the audience two extraordinary double-culture insights: everyday life in the GDR from the point of view of a Cambodian, fully integrated as a socialist worker and family man. And the intimate, unrestricted look, only reserved for family members, at everyday Cambodian life.


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