« The pagoda of Veal Molou, where I’ve been released, is located 3 kilometers from the Krek plantation. The young venerable Chin Rim is 25 years old and has the beauty of a young buddha. I show him an old picture of the pagoda and another one of the venerable Pak, the monk who set my brother and I free. The venerable Pak died in 1972. He was my father’s friend. Chin Rim is moved, he never knew him, but he knows everything about him and the story of these two child hostages which is passed on in the village like a legend from a generation to another.
He invites me to sit in the sala (the common room) and then brings in all the akas (Buddhist priests) and old people from the village. So, one by one, I do their portrait, a very classical portrait in front of a wooden door of the pagoda. I am not used to this kind of photographic process, but this time it allows me to engrave all these men and women in my memory. During the shooting, I take the time to scrutinize their faces as if I were trying to read in their eyes and in their wrinkles the history of Cambodia over the last fifty years”. F.H