The first episodes of the historical series The Son under the Full Moon were officially premiered for Prime Minister Hun Sen on the afternoon of March 13. Filming of the biopic is 60 per cent complete, but Hun Sen requested that it be completed by April or May.

Huy Veasna, lead scriptwriter on the project, said that as of March 13, the crew had produced 113 scenes, each with Hun Sen’s guidance.

“I first conceived of this project in 1999, when I read a book called Hun Sen: Strong man of Cambodia. That was when I began writing my opus. The title The Son under the Full Moon derived from the prime minister’s birthday,” he added.

Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeung Sakona said the story of Hun Sen’s struggles would be familiar to almost all Cambodians, but that the TV show offered extra insights.

“The longer format of a show like this allows more time to reveal more details and really explore his life in-depth. Witnessing the way he had to leave his family to seek peace and independence for the nation will be a moving experience for viewers.

“Through this film, they will learn about the priceless values and examples of the heroism and characteristics of Prime Minister Hun Sen and [his wife] Bun Rany. Those watching will feel a wide range of emotions, from pride, horror, regret at the deprivations they suffered, and even the sorrow of a father for his children,” she added.

Speaking on the day of the premier, Hun Sen thanked the cast and crew and shared his satisfaction with the production team.

“This series will become a legacy for the next generation, and will benefit future historians,” he said.

He described how he had used his own life as “capital” to develop the peaceful Kingdom which the people enjoy today.

Hun Sen also mentioned his deep and abiding love for his wife, tearing up as he described the depth of his sorrow at the lowest point in their lives.

“Physical injuries can be easily treated, but mental injuries are difficult to heal from. The death of my beloved son Hun Komsot right in front of my face will scar me forever. I asked if I could bury him, but they would not allow it. They wouldn’t even let me comfort my sick wife,” he said.

He described the psychological damage as more painful and frightening than anything he ever experienced on the battlefield.

“I often weep when I hear the powerful ballad The Sadness of the Lady Whose Husband is Away. I pity my dear departed son and will always regret the difficult letters I had to write during those dark times.

“Because of the hardships that I experienced, I am determined – at all costs – to do whatever it takes to prevent Cambodia from falling into the blackness of war ever again,” he said.

The epic tale will debut on March 20, and will screen three times per week, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.