It seems an extraordinarily short-sighted gamble for the Apsara Authority and the
Cambodian Government to consider granting permission for the filming of Tomb Raider
to take place at the magnificent temple complex of Angkor Wat.
The film's American producers and Paramount Pictures have allegedly given their word
that there will be "no bloodshed or violence, only guns". Forgive me for
being so deluded, but guns seem inextricably linked with bloodshed and violence -
something Cambodians know and understand only too well.
What, may I ask, do they propose the film's hero to do, run around waving a toy pistol
which, when fired, unfurls a flag saying "BANG"? How deluded can a supposedly
benevolent and culturally sensitive organization like Apsara be?
Has anyone from the Apsara Authority actually seen any version of the popular and
extremely violent computer game Tomb Raider on which the movie is based? What kind
of image do organizations like these want to present to the world of Cambodia's most
revered and beautiful treasure - seemingly one of rampant exploitation, destruction
and violence. Haven't Angkor Wat and the Cambodian people suffered enough from these
kinds of things?