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Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock And Roll

Directed by John Pirozzi

Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock And Roll still

US / Cambodia, 2014, 106 min, in English, Khmer and French with English Subtitles

Through the eyes, words and songs of its popular music stars of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, DON'T THINK I'VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA'S LOST ROCK AND ROLL examines and unravels Cambodia's recent tragic past.

"Fitting into a niche of heart-stirring music documentaries like

'Searching for Sugar Man' and '20 Feet From Stardom.'"

- New York Times


Offers insights into this era of Cambodian rock music.

Perfect Sound Forever

A rich and defiant effort at recovery, showing that even the most murderous totalitarianism cannot fully erase the human drive for pleasure and self-expression.

A.O. Scott, New York Times - NYT Critics' Pick

Every bit as entrancing and haunting as the lost music it celebrates.

A.v. Club

A rich patchwork tapestry of powerful and ebullient music.

Village Voice (Critics' Pick)

If Don't Think I've Forgotten is any indication, this Southeast Asian country has a lot of soul.

Hollywood Reporter

Very good and moving. Deserves the widest possible audience.

San Francisco Chronicle

A fervent cry for the power of music.

Washington Post

The music, the stuff of cultish collectors for decades, is thrilling.

Boston Globe

Resurrects and revives this ghost music, breathing life into it once again.

La Weekly

Does more than document a lost moment in time—it may also generate new knowledge and connections through its circulation. A moving and valuable project.

Pacific Affairs

Essential. You'll never understand the soul of a people without taking a long, close look at their cultural life.

Gambit Weekly

A living archive.

Art 21 Magazine

Eye-opening and moving.

Chicago Reader

A musical restoration of the country's history, a celebration of art, and an homage to those who paid for it with their lives.

The Stranger

There is a universal appeal.

Seattle Times

A poignant and important reminder that art matters.

Austin Chronicle

Heartbreaking. A tough but uplifting reminder that no matter what awful things humans do to each other, art survives.

Pittsburgh City Paper

What a bold feat of a film this is! If you love music...then you need to see this film.

Beautiful, atmospheric and most of all lively.

Review Express

A brilliant cultural excavation, connecting survivors' memories to a generation's worth of energetic music.

Ten Best Movies of the Year East Bay Express

The sheer range of music on offer is astonishing.

The Dissolve

More than a music documentary.

Spectrum Culture

Makes the whole period come alive.

Film Journal International

Carries with it a sense of discovery so profound it's practically archaeological.

Weekly Alibi

Engaging and detailed. A kind of cultural restoration project.

Bay Area Reporter

Infectious music. Shattering.

Mother Jones

What makes this film unique – and uniquely powerful – is its detailed account of the richness and vitality of the culture that was all but destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.

Asian Educational Media Service

This film is captivating, moving, and informative—it's an outstanding production.

Educational Media Reviews Online

A powerful film about the enduring legacy of a culture's music even in times of severe repression, this is highly recommended.

Video Librarian

A huge revelation for the music history books...Provides a completely refreshing new perspective.

Sound Diego

Riveting. At once exotic and familiar, intoxicating and revelatory.

Asbury Park Press

A poetic remembering of a culture lost during war. Serves as an ode to gentle, loving people who suffered terribly, but somehow have kept their spirit.

Helena Independent Record

This story needs to be told, and this music needs to be heard.

Santa Fe New Mexican

Stunningly told and peerlessly edited. Lush with gorgeous sights and sounds.


A celebration of music's resilient, lingering power.

A fascinating, beautifully realized story that urgently needs telling.

An irresistible documentary exploration of the wonderfully lush and occasionally psychedelic popular music produced in Cambodia.

Memphis Commercial Appeal

Pirozzi gets it right. [The film] assists in deepening the humanity and underscoring the richness of Cambodian culture.

From The Projection Room

A labor of love that shines the spotlight on performers who made great music and whose legacy was almost erased.

Ink 19


Reel And Rock

Crucial. A testament to human resilience.

Rochester City Newspaper

This is a fantastic film then, filled with terrific music and colourful characters, all tied together by an astute journalistic heart.

Reel World Reviews

Any admirer of historic footage will love the jewels to be found in this film.


A giddy whirlwind...tons of vintage footage.


Cambodia's music scene had plenty to offer.

San Francisco Weekly

Employs clever animation and colorful sequences to capture the energy of the rock scene.

Folio Weekly

Reminds us of music's essential role as cultural unifier.

This film does a great job capturing this little known gem of history.

Madison Film Forum

A glowing tribute to the universality of art.

Louis Proyect

Fitting into a niche of heart-stirring music documentaries like 'Searching for Sugar Man' and '20 Feet From Stardom.'

Ben Sisario, New York Times Feature

That the documentary exists at all is a triumph.

Rolling Stone

Personal and detailed. This project was an extensive undertaking.


Remarkable. The footage is a revelation.

Boston Globe Feature

The country's music scene was special—a vital force in a rapidly changing nation.

Wall Street Journal

The sound is thrillingly new for American audiences.

New Republic

Revives a lost art. Bracing.

New York Daily News

Sometimes a music documentary reaches a state of transcendence. John Pirozzi's new film is that kind of movie.

Phoenix New Times

Paints a picture of...Phnom Penh as a vibrant city teeming with garage bands and rebellious rockers.


Patches together the vibrant, fraught history of the Cambodian rock and roll scene.

Huffington Post

A spellbinding survey of Cambodia's lost era of psychedelia-infused lounge rock and roll. A high watermark of investigative journalism.

Bomb Magazine

Insightful. Compelling.


A real crowd-pleaser.

San Francisco Chronicle Feature

Goes beyond the sounds themselves to weave an emotional tale of how important music is to a society.

Oc Weekly

Does the world a service in documenting the era.

You can't help but marvel at the power of (music) to sustain itself through the people who made it, and those who love it.

Al Jazeera America

Part historical document, part celebration of a nearly lost form.

Columbus Alive

Wonderful trove of well-edited archival footage.

Seattle Weekly

Expertly weaves Cambodian history and political strife through the lens of rock and roll.


[An] extraordinary story of the spirit of youth culture in the face of genocide

Neon Signs

An essential document for anyone with an interest in the history of popular music from around the world.

Creative Loafing

Hannah Dunphy interviews Dr. LinDa Saphan

International Center For Transitional Justice

Explores the unique fusion of sounds coming out of Cambodia in the 1960s and 1970s.

Cambodia Daily