Last night I watched Angelina Jolie’s powerful docudrama “First They Killed My Father.” It was a heart-wrenching experience and I strongly recommend it.
Based on the incredible memoir by Loung Ung “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers”, it is a haunting story of genocide and survival from the point of view of a child. Featuring all Cambodian actors speaking their native language, the film uses strong visuals to reveal the escalating tensions that once destroyed a small nation.
Superbly directed by Angelia Jolie, the Khmer-language film offers exquisite cinematography and great performances that leaves you with an indelible memory of the horrors of the genocide perpetrated by the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Jolie’s masterstroke is that she never departs from the gaze of her young protagonist Loung Ung, played superbly by first time actor Sareum Srey Moch.
Luong’s story begins in relative peace, with the heroine and her six siblings living a relatively comfortable life with their mother and their father, a senior military police officer, in the capital Phnom Penh. When the Khmer Rouge rebels sweep into the capital, Loung’s father sees the writings on the wall and leads his wife and children into the countryside.
Loung Ung 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. She learned skills that no child should know, like how to plant land mines, fire an AK-47, and drive a spear into a Vietnamese soldier’s chest.
I don’t want to reveal too much about the movie as it will spoil your enjoyment of it. Just watch it, ok?
Below is the official trailer:
This a a trailer tease: