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The gate de Francois Bizot
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The gate (edição: 2003)

de Francois Bizot, Euan Cameron

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401864,441 (3.92)45
"A literary and historical tour de force: what one man saw and did in a land of pristine beauty on the eve of one of the twentieth century's most barbaric spectacles." "In 1971, Francois Bizot was a young French scholar of Khmer pottery and Buddhist ritual working in rural Cambodia. Now, more than thirty years later, he has summoned up the unbearable memory of that moment, letting us see as never before those years leading inexorably to genocide. Perfectly recalled, indelibly written, The Gate recounts the nightmare of Bizot's arrest and captivity on suspicion of being an American spy, and his nearly miraculous survival as the only Westerner ever to escape a Khmer Rouge prison. It is the story, as well, of Bizot's unlikely friendship with his captor, Douch - a figure today better remembered as a ruthless perpetrator of the then-looming terror, about which Bizot tried, without success, to warn his government." "Bizot's experience to that point would itself have merited report. But upon his return to Cambodia four years later, chance ordained a second remarkable act in this drama. As the sole individual fluent in both French and Khmer, Bizot found himself playing the intermediary in a surreal standoff when the Communist-backed guerillas now ascendant, laid siege to the French Embassy compound in Phnom Penh. Finally it would fall to Bizot to lead the desperate retreat of the colonial population: here he recounts how he helped the remaining Westerners - and any Cambodians he could - to escape the doomed capital."--BOOK JACKET.… (mais)
Membro:richarddeanowen
Título:The gate
Autores:Francois Bizot
Outros autores:Euan Cameron
Informação:New York : Knopf, 2003.
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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This is François Bizot's account of his final months in Cambodia in the mid-seventies, first as a prisoner of the Khmer Rouge and then of the days in the French Embassy in Phnom Penh as foreigners and Cambodians took shelter there and how they managed to leave.

Bizot was in Cambodia researching Khmer Buddhist traditions and was traveling around the areas being taken over by the Khmer Rouge with two Cambodian assistants when he was taken by the Khmer military and sent to a prison in the countryside, really just a makeshift camp in the jungle where the prisoners were kept locked in ankle stocks and lying in rows. Because Bizot was too large for the shackles and to keep him isolated, he was chained up near the entrance to the camp. His main interactions were with the camp leader, a man who would later be infamous for being in charge of torture, but with whom Bizot formed a sort of relationship, one that led to him finally being released a few months later. Back in Phnom Penh, he takes shelter in the French embassy and given his fluency in Khmer, he soon took on a leadership position. He's also one of the few willing to venture out of the embassy in search of the foreigners who chose not to come to the embassy earlier or to search for supplies. Eventually, a risky exit is planned, a logistical nightmare involving moving over a thousand people through Khmer-held territory into Thailand.

Bizot is not a likeable man and it's to his credit that he makes no attempt to make himself so. He's arrogant and he holds attitudes and ideas about the Cambodians, and especially a fetishization of the women, that he might be encouraged to examine and rethink today, but that doesn't change the value of this document of an important and terrifying time in history. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | May 21, 2021 |
This book is dated and a little too self-absorbed to be truly illuminating about pre-Khmer Rouge Cambodia and Duch, the cadre who became the director of S-21 (Tuol Sleng) and one of the architects of the Cambodian genocide. Much better is journalist [a:Thierry Cruvellier|3427766|Thierry Cruvellier|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png]'s [b:The Master of Confessions: The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer|18513484|The Master of Confessions The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer|Thierry Cruvellier|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/book/50x75-a91bf249278a81aabab721ef782c4a74.png|26311026]. Yet it is a glimpse of Duch as well as life inside the prison. There are some beautifully rendered moments, like this description:

The man who spoke had the black skin of the Khmers, very dark and coppery. He had a hard look, square jaw, short teeth, like small, worn blocks, and the three furrows in his neck, stacked horizontally, so characteristic and so elegant in young women that they used to represent one of the hieratic attributes of beauty in wall paintings. Beneath his open shirt you could see the ritual tattoos. He wore a mass of necklaces, adorned with Buddhas, tigers' teeth, and amulets, which we were to hear clinking together protectively throughout the night. ( )
  MaximusStripus | Jul 7, 2020 |
Unlike many memoirists of the Cambodian civil war, Bizot was an adult and not Cambodian. In fact, he was the only foreigner actually detained by the Khmer Rouge who survived the experience. This was in the early years of their insurgency and is detailed in first part of the book; the second half has elements that are more familiar to the reader of histories and memoirs of this era and describes his experiences inside the French compound after the fall of Phnom, Penh.

Bizot's child figures prominently, though always as an absent figure; her mother, a Cambodian, is even further removed from the narrative. The time jump between sections is disconcerting and lends a fragmented air to the book. Since Bizot worked with ancient Buddhist texts and objects, perhaps this is deliberate parallelism. Read with one of the Cambodian narratives of the Khmer Rouge period, with Swain's [b:The River of Time|228665|The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1)|Robert Jordan|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172889531s/228665.jpg|2008238] and the film The Killing Fields for a rounded description of the foreign experience prior to evacuation. ( )
1 vote OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
unbelievable story of the horrors of the Pol Pot regime! ( )
  zmagic69 | Mar 12, 2011 |
Très beau livre sur un des épisodes les plus douloureux du 20e siècle. La plume de François Bizot est d'un classicisme superbe et sans faille. Des propos parfois dérangeants qui traduisent le fameux syndrome de Stockholm, mais aussi une mise en perspective importante à l'heure où s'ouvre le procès de Douch à Phnom Penh, pour un douloureux exercice de mémoire que les Cambodgiens ont aujourd'hui encore du mal à faire. ( )
  sinaloa237 | Mar 17, 2009 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (4 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Bizot, FrançoisAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Le Carré, JohnPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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"A literary and historical tour de force: what one man saw and did in a land of pristine beauty on the eve of one of the twentieth century's most barbaric spectacles." "In 1971, Francois Bizot was a young French scholar of Khmer pottery and Buddhist ritual working in rural Cambodia. Now, more than thirty years later, he has summoned up the unbearable memory of that moment, letting us see as never before those years leading inexorably to genocide. Perfectly recalled, indelibly written, The Gate recounts the nightmare of Bizot's arrest and captivity on suspicion of being an American spy, and his nearly miraculous survival as the only Westerner ever to escape a Khmer Rouge prison. It is the story, as well, of Bizot's unlikely friendship with his captor, Douch - a figure today better remembered as a ruthless perpetrator of the then-looming terror, about which Bizot tried, without success, to warn his government." "Bizot's experience to that point would itself have merited report. But upon his return to Cambodia four years later, chance ordained a second remarkable act in this drama. As the sole individual fluent in both French and Khmer, Bizot found himself playing the intermediary in a surreal standoff when the Communist-backed guerillas now ascendant, laid siege to the French Embassy compound in Phnom Penh. Finally it would fall to Bizot to lead the desperate retreat of the colonial population: here he recounts how he helped the remaining Westerners - and any Cambodians he could - to escape the doomed capital."--BOOK JACKET.

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