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.
The Wakhan Corridor, a thin finger of land in northeast Afghanistan, is an incredibly tough place to live. North of Pakistan, bordering China and North Pakistan, the people here are statistically high in poverty and hunger, low in health and education. Yet in Matthieu Paley’s stunning photographs that comprise this simple and memorable film, we see joy and humanity from the impoverished inhabitants. Beauty and hardship walk hand in hand in this collage of photographs and sounds from a place forgotten on the roof of the world.