One-man show doesn’t add a lot of information to what’s currently out there about Cambodia and the killing machine that was the Pol Pot regime. But Utah-based helmer Trent Harris, who makes low-budget cult movies like “Rubin and Ed,” does put a personal spin on some of the mystical and moral dimensions of Cambodia today. It should thrive in educational circles and see some tube use, too.
“The Cement Ball of Earth, Heaven, and Hell” is result of several trips Harris made to Cambodia, acting as his own lenser, sound man, on-camera narrator, and all-purpose post-production person. The most familiar segs find him talking to a painter who documented the almost ritualistic tortures that went on under the Khmer Rouge. The most original segs find him following Aki Ra, a still-young fellow orphaned and conscripted as a child to lay mines. He now devotes himself to removing and defusing them, claiming to have personally cleared more than 10,000, usually with a spade and a pocket knife — although the current government has offered more harassment than thanks. Title refers to a large Buddhist sculpture.