In 1978, Gunnar Bergstrom was part of a small Swedish diplomatic delegation that received rare permission to visit Cambodia and meet its notorious leader, Pol Pot. When Bergstrom returned to Sweden, he publicly defended the Khmer Rouge regime, despite the terrifying reports from Cambodian refugees. Three decades later, filmmakers Michael Krotkiewski and Julia Stanislawska follow Bergstrom as he returns to Cambodia, haunted by his wrongheaded proclamations from when he was a younger man.
“One can only be honest about having a point of view while remaining open to aspects of reality—the human faces and voices—that might demolish it” writes George Packer in his collection of articles titled Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade. As a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, he writes about everything from atrocities in Sierra Leone to America with its flawed political system:
Seduction by iced latte, mutual fund, and “The Sopranos” is a slow, nearly invisible disease; it can happen without leaving a trace in print, yet at some point the organism has lost the impulse to object. An opposition that is financially secure, mentally insincere, and generally ignored isn’t likely to produce Common Sense or Democratic Vistas.
Author of the highly acclaimed book The Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq, Packer will discuss his work with Mountainfilm Festival Director David Holbrooke at the Sheridan Opera House on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. George will also speak about the Middle East with his wife—Laura Secor, who is also with The New Yorker—at a breakfast talk on Sunday. Later that day, he’ll moderate a discussion with Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson about the Af-Pak region.