John Pilger was one of the first Western journalists to bring the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime to the world’s attention. Now, 35 years after the release of his documentary, Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia, Pilger speaks to Southeast Asia Globe about his memories of those dayshttp://sea-globe.com/john-pilger-interview-cambodia-southeast-asia-globe/
When I arrived in Phnom Penh, I found no substantial aid reaching people who then needed it more urgently than perhaps any society on earth. Phnom Penh was still partly a ghost city, populated, it seemed, by malnourished, orphaned children. The only substantial aid came from impoverished, war-scarred Vietnam. One of my dispatches occupied almost an entire issue of the Daily Mirror – which sold out. The public’s response was remarkable. Unsolicited, millions of pounds arrived from ordinary British people; this was repeated in many countries where the film was broadcast – from Europe to Australia. The film raised some $50 million, a huge amount back then. With Oxfam’s help, emergency flights with medicines and milk for children began to arrive. We built a factory that produced coloured clothes for people yearning to get rid of the Khmer Rouge black uniform.