And then they killed my father
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung UngFrom a childhood survivor of the Camdodian genocide under the regime of Pol Pot, this is a riveting narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family, and their triumph of spirit.
One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pots Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ungs family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed.
Harrowing yet hopeful, Loungs powerful story is an unforgettable account of a family shaken and shattered, yet miraculously sustained by courage and love in the face of unspeakable brutality.
First They Killed My Father
Set in , the film depicts 5-year-old Ung, who is forced to be trained as a child soldier while her siblings are sent to labor camps during the Khmer Rouge regime. The film screened at the Telluride Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival , and was released worldwide on Netflix on September 15, to positive critical reception. The U. An officer of the Khmer National Armed Forces , Ung, known as "Pa" to his seven children, including 5-year-old Loung Ung , expresses regret for having trusted the Americans as the Khmer Rouge draw closer. The Khmer Rouge forces all families to leave the city, under the pretext that it will be bombed by Americans, and join thousands of refugees. Pa Ung denies working for the government when questioned by soldiers, knowing that he will be killed if discovered. The family is found by "Uncle", Pa's brother-in-law, and Loung's family stays with Uncle's family for some time.
Angelina Jolie's "First They Killed My Father" is far and away her best work as a director: a rare film about a national tragedy told through the eyes and mind of a child, and as fine a war movie as has ever been made. Adapted by Jolie and co-writer Loung Ung from Ung's memoir about her family's experiences after the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia, it stands apart from most work in this vein not just because of what it does so well, but because of what it refuses to do. There are emotionally powerful moments, particularly near the end when you start to see some light at the end of the tunnel, but there's little in the way of canned Hollywood uplift. But every image and feeling are anchored to the point-of-view of Ung, played by the remarkable young actress Sareum Srey Moch. She was five when the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh and seven when she made it out, her young mind stained by memories of hunger, brutality and sudden death.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
W hatever may be thought of Angelina Jolie and the controversial way she auditioned young people for this particular film — a Netflix production which airs later this month — she has created an accomplished piece of work which is possessed of a genuine artistry. The action is set in Cambodia , a country with which Jolie famously has a personal connection; her year-old adopted Cambodian son Maddox is credited as an executive producer. When the Khmer Rouge arrive in revolutionary triumph, her terrified parents played by Phoeung Kompheak and Sveng Socheata realise that they must efface any hint that they were once the hirelings of a government for which the newcomers have a fanatical loathing. The family are brusquely taken away and set to back-breaking physical work on an agricultural collective. The children are always hungry; there is a hair-raising scene when a horribly big spider is caught, cooked and eaten. With cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, Jolie contrives some eerily beautiful overhead shots showing their ideological fear farm from above: the people working there do indeed look like insects. Loung replies grimly that she hopes her sister does not return — to this.
It is her personal account of her experiences during the Khmer Rouge regime. Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights and sassing her parents. While her beautiful mother worried that Loung was a troublemaker—that she stomped around like a thirsty cow—her beloved father knew Loung was a clever girl. When Pol Pot 's Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April , Ung's family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. Because Loung was resilient and determined, she trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while other siblings were sent to labor camps.