Movie Review: First they killed my father

I watched this movie on Netflix last night.  This morning I finished it up and was overcome with emotion as the closing credits rolled.

I loved the reunion scenes between siblings the most and burst into tears when the three little ones were reunited with the two older brothers.  I am currently out of contact with my siblings and parents because of a certain situation in our family and so this reality against the backdrop of this war movie really opened the floodgates in my heart.

As I have processed certain childhood traumas these past sixteen years since my brother Dave died, I have had to reconcile a whole load of flashing memories that tend to overwhelm my brain at the most inconvenient moments. Watching this excellent movie, which was directed by Angelina Jolie and I believe, is her best yet, was helpful for me as a survivor of sexual abuse.  Even though I did not live under war conditions as a child, the internal conflict that was generated in my heart by the various assaults most certainly conspired to wreak havoc on my body and my brain.

I love the idea of Loung living to adulthood, thriving, and then moving into activism as a writer, film maker, and truth teller.

There is so much confusion about what took place in her part of the world during the Viet Nam War.  Americans today are still totally conflicted about the wars.  The propaganda that we here in the states STILL must deal with from communist forces is a blight on our age of mass media, the internet, and the marketplace of ideas.

First they killed my Father will go a long way in helping to set the record straight.  Typical commie tactics of disrupting home life, separating families, indoctrination of children, and teaching lessons around the “greater good” are all a part of this movie.  While subtle in its messaging, the reality is displayed for all the world to see and I welcome it most heartily.

As a voice in the various Anti Communist movements for the past many years, I am thrilled to see a powerhouse like Angelina take on a difficult topic and make a work of Art that will always stand as a witness to what the Cambodian people suffered.  I look forward to watching this movie with my husband and children.

Jenny Hatch

The book is available on Amazon.

Loung Ung’s web site is here.


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