Brother Number One

Pan Pacific Films, 2009-2011

The story of New Zealand rower Rob Hamill’s search for the truth behind his brother Kerry Hamill’s imprisonment and execution at the notorious S-21 Prison in Phnom Penh. Rob Hamill rose to fame in his native New Zealand as an Olympic rower and later went on to row around the world, as featured in his book The Naked Rower. He decided to return to Cambodia to discover what really happened to his brother Kerry and his two friends after their boat, The Foxy Lady, drifted into Cambodian waters in 1978.

Returning to Cambodia was a highly emotional journey for Rob and the film crew. As well as travelling to locations as diverse as Koh Tang Island, Tuol Sleng Prison and the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Pailin, Rob also confronted Comrade Duch, former Commandant of S-21 Prison, at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Phnom Penh. Line Producer Kulikar Sotho became increasingly involved in the film, as she sought to help Rob discover the truth and in turn learn more about the disappearance of her Father, her Uncle and other relatives during the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia. Together they uncovered more information about the death of loved ones as they journeyed through Cambodia confronting former revolutionaries about their role in the time of Democratic Kampuchea.

Premiered in Auckland in July 2011, it has received widespread praise from film critics and has toured film festivals and enjoyed a general release in New Zealand and Australia. Hanuman Films was intimately involved in this production with Kulikar Sotho working as Line Producer and joining Rob Hamill on screen as he journeyed into a painful past. Hanuman also provided permissions and logistical support throughout the shoot.

For more on this groundbreaking documentary, read this article from Screen Hub:

Locations: S-21 Prison, Pailin, Sihanoukville, Koh Tang Island, Anlong Veng

Talent: Presenter Rob Hamill, Kulikar Sotho, Director Annie Goldson, DoP Peter Gilbert