khmer women


The Netflix film is based on a 2000 non-fiction book written by Loung Ung, a Cambodian author and survivor of the Pol Pot regime. It is a personal account of her experiences during the Khmer Rouge years.

From a childhood survivor of Cambodia’s brutal Pol Pot regime comes an unforgettable narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family, and their triumph of spirit.

I was a bit cautious about “First they killed my father”, but it really is a total cinematic triumph. Utterly sad (but so important), gorgeously shot (all credit to Anthony Dod Mantle, that part of the world never looked as beautiful and profound on film as thru his lens), avoiding the usual Hollywood traps (no white savior BS) and the entire cast just feels genuine (Sareum Srey Moch is the heart and soul of this movie), which is a rarity nowadays. Angie, you really did it. Impressed. 

P.S. After a day of consideration i’m ranking this along with Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Ivan’s Childhood, Elem Klimov’s “Come and See” and René Clément‘s “Forbidden games” as my favorite childhood war-torn film.

Me: please make selling breast milk, especially the milk of poor Khmer women, illegal.
Everyone: but it’s consented :)
Me: um, women are no cows, women should not be economically coerced into starving their children and compromising their health. This is not a worker’s rights debate, this is about the exploitation of the female body and the exploitation of the Third World by the bourgeoisie. In other words, dismantle capitalism and patriarchy.