Vannak greeted us with a cheeky grin. Poiy flaunted his new nose ring. And Aki Ra showed us the five rockets and two bombs he’d picked up and defused just hours before we arrived.

Five rockets and two bombs. Geesh.

We were in Siem Reap to give the kids a sneak preview of Aki Ra’s Boys. The film is premiering in Paris next month, but we wanted the children to see it first.

Sweet, shy Sokna couldn’t stop giggling, Seng scrunched up her face, and Vannak spent the better part of the screening half-hidden behind an older boy. The three share a very funny scene – un-self-consciously rude jokes about one-armed kids and one-legged girls, a game of chance that somehow involved the use (or non-use) of missing body parts, an attempt by Vannak to run off with someone else’s prosthetic limb – and were subject to plenty of ribbing by the other children.

Never mind the scratchy DVD player, the scratchier mosquitos, the howling dogs, the constant stream of curious neighbours eager to crash our private screening, the kids were great. Laughed in all the right places, understood all the nuances.

By far our funnest screening ever. We couldn’t have hoped for a better test audience.