First they kill my Father ( Movie: Review) by @zohaibb
During the Vietnam War, fighting broke out in neighboring Cambodia when U.S. military bombs began on North Vietnamese forces attempting to take refuge in neutral territory, the Cambodian Civil War began. The United States then withdrew from Cambodia and evacuated its embassy. A Khmer National Armed Forces officer, Ung, known as “Pa” to his seven children, including 5 -year -old Lounge Ung, expressed regret over the confidence in the Americans as the Khmer Rouge approached.
The Khmer Rouge forced all families to leave the city, on the pretext that the Americans bombed it, and joined the thousands of refugees. Pa Ung denied working for the government when asked by the soldiers, knowing he would be killed if discovered. The family was found by "Uncle", Pa's brother -in -law, and Lounge's family remained with Uncle's family for quite some time. However, at the urging of Uncle’s wife, fearing the consequences if Pa’s identity is discovered, Lounge’s family has to leave.
After days of traveling they were rounded up by Khmer Rouge soldiers and taken along with other refugees to a labor camp, where they had to build their own shelter and were forced to work under harsh conditions. Their belongings were confiscated, food was scarce because all crops were sent to battle units, and any attempt to get more food was punished with sticks. Lounge is a witness to the beating of her siblings as they try to get more food for themselves and their family.
Aside from the effort, the camp preaches regime propaganda, and any foreign objects (including life -saving drugs) are banned and carry the death penalty. Lounge's two oldest brothers and oldest sister were reassigned to other camps, and later her brother died of disease and starvation.
One day Lounge saw that Pa had been taken by officers to fix a bridge. Knowing what awaited him, he said goodbye to his wife and children. Later, the dreamer has a dream in which he sees it killed and buried in a grave.
Shortly afterwards, Ma told Lounge, her sister Kim, and her older brother Chou to flee in different directions and look for new working camps under false identification as orphans. Lounge and her sister separated from their brother and arrived at another camp.
There, Lounge was recruited to become a child soldier for the Khmer Rouge. The Vietnamese came to rescue Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge. The sarees learned hand-to-battle, shooting, and preparation of traps, and worked on laying mine fields against the Vietnamese. Children continue to be taught propaganda and hatred towards Vietnamese, but they get more food and are treated better than workers in labor camps.
One day Lounge passes to visit her brother at labor camp, but instead she travels to the camp where her mother and youngest brother left. He saw that their hut was empty, and an old woman told him that his family had been taken by the soldiers. That night Loung dreams about his mother lying dead in a grave with his youngest brother left next to his corpse to die.
Lounge’s camp was destroyed by Vietnamese gunfire, forcing him to flee along with other civilians. On the road he reunites with his brother and sister and stays one night in a temporary refugee camp run by Vietnamese troops, where the brothers join a group of children. As the camp was attacked by Khmer Rouge forces the next morning, they slipped behind the Vietnamese defender to escape the fighting into the jungle, where Lounge was separated from his brothers and witnessed other fugitives killed and beaten by mines that he himself helped set up.
The three siblings were reunited in another refugee camp run by the Red Cross. Lounge saw people beating a captured Khmer Rouge soldier. He sees him as his father and flashes back to the violence in his life. As he shouts, “Pa”, to the man, the kidnappers disperse. Lounge looked at the beaten man and walked away.
At the end of the war, Lounge and her younger siblings were reunited with their older siblings who also survived the camps. The film ends with all the children in the present time, praying with the monks for their lost family members in the ruins of a Buddhist temple.
This is real heart breaking story during the vietnam war, you will watch this movie with a teary eyes.