Writer: Loung Ung, Angelina Jolie (Screenplay) Loung Ung (Book)
Starring: Sareum Srey Moch, Phoeung Kompheak, Sveng Socheata, Mun Kimhak, Heng Dara, Khoun Sothea
Plot: Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung recounts the horrors she suffered as a child under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge.
Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Unbelievable Battle for Survival
Story: First They Killed My Father starts as America pulls out their troops from Cambodia giving the Khmer Rouge a chance to move into the cities, forcing 5-year-old Loung Ung (Moch) to flee with her family, leaving everything behind, becoming slaves to the Khmer Rouge.
We follow through the eyes of Loung the horrors she and her people go through during the brutal reign of the Khmer Rouge as the child’s point of view of this heartache shows the true horrors in Cambodia during the Cambodian genocide.
Thoughts on First They Killed My Father
Characters – Loung is our main and only character we truly get introduced to, it is her story of survival during the Cambodian genocide, we see everything through her eyes, how her privileged life is ripped from her to become a homeless refugee forced to work for the Khmer Rouge, she learns about the world, how to survive hoping to find her family together again. The other characters we meet include her family and other people trying to survive.
Performances – Sareum Srey Moch is brilliant in the leading role of the film, for a child actor you feel the characters pain and confusion through the events of the film. the rest of the performers are great throughout the film too.
Story – The way this story is told is that we watch the events through the eyes of the young girl Loung and you can see this through the film, the idea of the genocide is known so we don’t need to know the political side of any of this story, just how one victim from it survived it. See a story we have seen before, see The Killing Fields did need a new look and the innocent view of the girl does make this stand up to be counted.
Biographical/History – Seeing what Loung Ung went through is heart breaking and seeing how the people of Cambodian people were treated by the Khmer Rouge reign of terror.
Settings – Each setting shows us the comfortable world Loung was in and slowly how desperate her battle to survive became, we have some excellent camera shots to show us the bleakness in the world we are seeing here.
Final Thoughts – This is a hard film to watch because of the subject matter, but it is a must watch when you know this sort of thing still goes on throughout the world.
Overall: A must watch.