Am Rong

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This is a Cambodian name; the family name is Am.

Am Rong (1929 - May 1975)[1] was a Cambodian soldier and filmmaker, who acted as a spokesman on military matters for the Khmer Republic during the Cambodian Civil War. Western journalists commented on the irony of his name as he gave briefings which "painted a rosy picture of the increasingly desperate situation on the ground" during the war.[2][3]


Rong was born in Battambang to a farming family, and was initially educated at the Royal School of Administration. He joined the Cambodian army in 1953 and served as a paratrooper from 1956.[4]

Henry Kamm, characterised Rong as "affable and intelligent". He studied film in France at the IDHEC, the French state film school from 1962 to 1964.[5] Given that Cambodia's then-ruler Prince Norodom Sihanouk had considered himself the premier filmmaker of the country and did not appreciate rivals, Rong found himself commissioned major, and the army "created a film unit consisting of one lonely major, who had little to do".[6] He was later given the job of giving official war briefings to foreign journalists. By the end of the war, he had been promoted to general, and a subordinate had been made information minister.[6]

Am Rong was killed by the Khmer Rouge at some point after the fall of Phnom Penh in April, 1975.[7]


Am Rong completed a number of short documentary films during his career. At least one, The Independence of Cambodia, is held by Rithy Panh's Bophana Audiovisual Center.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Corfield, J and Summers, L. Historical dictionary of Cambodia, Scarecrow Press, 2003, p.9
  2. ^ Lonely Planet Guide: Cambodia p.33
  3. ^ Becker p.15
  4. ^ Corfield and Summers, p.9
  5. ^ Kamm, H. Cambodia: Report from a stricken land, Arcade, 1998, p.61
  6. ^ a b Kamm, p.62
  7. ^ Cambodian Genocide Program page on Am Rong


  • Elizabeth Becker When the War Was Over: Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge Revolution (Revised edition, 1998)