Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia is an extraordinary new composition fusing music, film, voice and movement. It is the first major symphonic work that addresses the traumas that occurred in Cambodia in the late seventies, and is the first collaboration between the Oscar-nominated director Rithy Panh and lauded composer Him Sophy — both survivors of the Khmer Rouge and now at the forefront of Cambodia’s cultural renaissance. Anchored in “bangsokol” — a ritual for the dead or soon to be deceased — the performance intertwines traditional Khmer instruments with The Metropolis Ensemble orchestra and the Taipei Philharmonic Chamber Choir. All together, they create something innately Cambodian but relatable to audiences everywhere.
Bangsokol is an act of cultural renewal, aiming to return the arts to their place at the heart of Cambodian society. While the world continues to witness new genocides, wars and destruction, Bangsokol urges us to express our scars from the past in order to forge a new path forward.