A small river separates Thailand from Cambodia, and even though they are not visible, Vietnamese soldiers wait to gun down anyone who tries to cross. An interpreter lifts a megaphone and yells out in Khmer. These people are doctors, the interpreter says, and only want to give medical attention to the people. The request is met with silence. The only sound is the clicking of cameras, and Franz worries that the Grand March is over.
Kundera implies from the very beginning that the Grand March will fail to help the Cambodian people, but since it is kitsch, it isn’t really about helping the Cambodian people in the first place. The Grand March is about creating the image of helping people, so leftists like Franz and the actress can appear to fight injustice.