First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (2017) Movie Script

Under the pretext
that there is a war necessity,
they come into Cambodia.
The Nixon Doctrine
for Southeast Asia appears to have failed.
The war that began in Vietnam
has now engulfed Cambodia.
There is anger and frustration
at the US bombings.
Thousands of lives lost.
Farms and livelihoods destroyed.
Many are now turning to the Khmer Rouge,
who promise to reclaim Cambodia
from the government of General Lon Nol,
which is backed by Washington.
But little is known
of the Khmer Rouge's leaders
or their true intentions.
The communist insurgents
now surround the capital, Phnom Penh.
President Ford's speech yesterday,
in which he asked for
no more military aid for Cambodia,
apparently has had an effect,
prompting the embassy to pull out.
APRIL 1975
Word that the US was pulling out
of Cambodia came early Saturday morning.
Journalists and foreign residents
have been told to assemble
at the US embassy before 9:00 a.m.
A school several blocks from the embassy
is serving as the makeshift landing zone.
The helicopter evacuation is
being carried out by American marines.
Loung. Get down!
Be careful. You'll fall.
You are so dirty...
You've finished it!
Let's go and wash your hands.
Have you had fun with your brothers?
I can't dance like Khouy.
It's too hard for me.
That's no problem. I'll teach you.
I'm worried, Captain.
The Americans have abandoned us.
They've evacuated their embassy
down to the last man.
It was a mistake for us
to have trusted them.
The Khmer Rouge could reach the city
at any moment.
Who knows what will happen to Lon Nol
if they get this far?
We are all Cambodians.
So much damage has been done.
If there is a chance to rebuild,
we have to take it.
Help each other to some rice.
Just a spoonful?
So you won't get chubby!
Give some to Chou.
An egg for you?
Stop that and eat up.
Let me give you some sauce.
Loung! Chou!
Come inside!
Unity! Unity!
The Americans are gone!
Cambodians must unite!
Chou, come on!
We must welcome our brothers!
Cambodians unite!
Chou, Loung, go and get some lunch.
What's happening outside?
Brothers, you are welcome.
We don't want any bloodshed.
We are all Cambodians.
Our country is in our hands.
Angkar has prevailed
throughout the country.
Surrender your weapons.
You now answer to Angkar!
Meng, Khouy, come inside.
Go and eat something.
Pa said we have to pack.
Loung, what's happening?
I don't know.
Khouy! You can't take this.
Just take what's important.
Loung! Time to pack.
Only take what we really need.
Ma, please can we take
our New Year's dresses?
I'll take them.
Go and help Geak get changed.
Don't stand there.
Go and change, quickly.
You have to leave the city for three days!
Loung, come on!
Pa, let's take the car.
No, we're taking the truck. Come on!
The Americans are going to bomb the city!
You can return in three days!
Come on, children. Climb up.
Sit down.
Stop that!
Take off your shirts!
And your shoes!
Why are you doing this?
Get them onto the trucks!
Keep moving!
The Americans are going to bomb our city.
You all have to leave!
You'll be safe in the countryside.
You can return in three days.
Do not question Angkar.
Leave! Hurry up!
It's Pa's friend.
Get down, Loung.
Loung, come on, sweetie!
Darling, what are we doing?
It's okay.
We'll have to stay here tonight.
We can't go any further today.
Let's get ourselves organized.
Leave! Now!
Get moving!
Come, children.
Time to get going.
Get up.
Pack your things!
Comrade, Angkar needs your truck!
You no longer need it.
Pass me the luggage.
Let's take our things off the truck.
Loung, put this on.
Only take what we need.
Pa, pass me the bags.
Hey! Comrade!
Your watch.
Angkar needs it.
Hand it over.
Give it to Angkar.
Oh! This is a very nice watch.
Who are you to have such a good watch?
It was a gift from my boss.
Come on. Let's hurry up.
You work for the government?
I don't understand.
I don't speak a foreign language.
Of course you understand.
You work for the government,
don't you?
- Hurry up!
- I don't understand what you are saying.
I think you do.
Please speak normally. I don't understand.
Let's pack our things.
Let's go.
Hurry up!
Faster, faster! Go, go!
Keep on walking! Faster!
What's wrong, sweetheart?
The soldiers said we could go back home
after three days.
I'm not so sure.
But it's the third day.
I'm sorry. We have to keep moving.
Pa, I miss home.
We can't go home.
Let's go.
Let's keep walking.
Be brave, my child.
We will try to rest soon.
Nobody passes this point
without permission!
Come forward!
Any government officials,
police officers, soldiers, teachers...
must step up to the table
and identify themselves.
All families have to register their names.
Soldiers from the Lon Nol army,
or anyone unable to work,
must step aside.
Remember, we are workers.
Do whatever they say and don't argue.
Step forward!
You don't need money anymore.
In the new Cambodia,
there will be no banking,
no trading, and no private property.
No rich, no poor. No class.
We are all the same now.
What is your work?
Is this a Lon Nol army uniform?
That's not mine.
Take him away!
What is your work?
I am a packer at the shipping port.
Remove her shoes.
All right, you are clear. You can go.
Loung, let's go to the lake.
Wake up!
Loung, wake up.
Gather your things quickly.
We have to go.
What do you monks contribute? Nothing!
You monks are parasites! Work harder!
Now you can be the cows!
Pull the plow!
Work hard! Work for Angkar!
Look, that looks like your uncle!
Brother Leang!
I've been looking for you
since I heard Phnom Penh was evacuated.
Hello, Uncle.
There is some food in the cart.
They are so poor.
We are poor now, too.
From today,
we no longer speak of rich or poor.
Is it true everyone was made
to leave Phnom Penh?
Did they bomb the city?
Angkar said they were about to,
but I didn't hear any bombing.
The Americans have been bombing us here
for years.
Sometimes days in a row.
They destroyed my house
and killed our cattle.
That's why I support
the Khmer Rouge revolution.
We want a new Cambodia.
This is our land.
The earth and the water are ours.
If you want to stay,
you'll need permission
from the village chief.
You need to be careful
because you're from the city.
Angkar has many eyes.
They can't stay with us.
If they find out he was a Lon Nol captain,
it will get us killed.
But this is my sister!
You already know...
family ties don't count anymore.
I know. I know perfectly well.
They will kill all of us.
Do you want us to die?
Come and sit on my lap, sweetheart.
They said to wait here and we would
be brought to food and shelter.
I heard on the American radio
that Saigon has fallen.
The Americans have pulled out of Vietnam.
Off the truck! Hurry up!
All of you, on the carts!
Follow me.
Get on the cart with your brother.
Everything will be fine.
You monks are parasites.
Leeches draining the blood of the people!
Get off now!
Come, Loung.
Get down. They're coming!
Take your sister.
Let's get you off there.
You can't stay here, sweetheart.
Put down what you are carrying.
Angkar rejects everything that was part
of imperialist and feudalist society.
Foreign possessions corrupt
the people of this country.
You must renounce all personal property.
Get rid of your selfish ways of thinking.
Angkar will take care of you.
Angkar is your family now.
Follow me.
- Bloodsuckers!
- You should be shot and killed!
You live off the back
of hardworking people like us!
Can't you even walk?
This plot is yours.
Your place is over there.
He said our place is this way.
Your first work assignment is
to build your own house.
No one is going to build it for you!
Go get some berries and dye your clothes,
so you can get rid of all colors.
We are all equal.
When we dress the same,
we rid ourselves
of corrupt Western vanity.
Develop a revolutionary mindset.
You must obey Angkar.
Angkar is the ruler.
Give me the shirt.
Come on.
Chou. Come here.
Hide this shirt.
Come forward.
Comrade, sit here.
Comrade, sit over there.
Sit down there.
Sit down.
There is no more individualism
or private property.
You must rid yourself
of personal possessions.
Angkar is all-powerful.
Angkar is the savior and liberator
of the Khmer people.
Work your hardest for Angkar.
Give your all.
From now on,
our harvest won't depend on the weather.
We will have all the water we need.
Now, the rice field is your paper,
and the hoe is your pen.
Give everything.
Dig a straight line!
Keep the rows straight.
Keep on working!
Angkar leads the revolution in Kampuchea!
Angkar leads the revolution in Kampuchea!
Comrade Khoeun,
do you have something to say?
Comrade Sun does not use the medicine
of our revolution.
Instead, he has been searching
for Western medicine.
I saw it, too.
Comrade Sun. Stand up.
Is it true?
My child had fever.
And he had bad diarrhea.
If I hadn't given him French medicine,
he would have died.
Sorry, comrade.
Angkar does not believe you.
No! I'm telling you the truth!
You still behave as an individual.
Comrade Proem.
Take him to re-education.
No, please don't!
Don't hurt me! Have mercy!
I'm sorry, comrade!
Angkar thanks Comrade Khoeun,
who is loyal to Angkar.
Discard your old ways of thinking.
Angkar will destroy all enemies,
visible and invisible!
If they find out who I am,
you and the children would be in danger.
You must do what we've discussed.
I know you understand.
I can't. They are too young.
Promise me.
The comrades on the front line
need rice and vegetables.
Get back to work in the fields.
Do not forget to work hard,
and don't make them angry.
May angels take care of you, sweetheart.
Angkar is your mother and father.
Angkar needs strong young men and women.
The revolution is not only
in this village.
It is taking place throughout Kampuchea.
Angkar knows what is best
for every one of us.
Go to the front!
Look after yourself
and your brother and sister.
You have to think
with a revolutionary mindset.
Stand in line.
It is your duty to report
any wrongdoing to Angkar.
You must keep each other in check.
Why did you eat a bean?
Why? Why did you do that?
I am so sorry.
Please don't punish me.
You're sorry?
You stole and now you expect forgiveness?
I'm sorry.
Why did you do it?
Tell the truth!
I only ate a little.
A little?
You ate that much!
How dare you argue with me!
Are you still denying it?
Get back to work!
And you, too.
It's better to make a mistake
and kill an innocent person
than to leave an enemy alive.
Hurry up. Make sure no one sees us.
I have something for you.
Put it in.
I have something else.
Eat this, sweetheart.
- Do you like it?
- Yes, Pa.
Just do this.
One day, when we return home,
what would you like to eat then?
I would like to eat Ma's chicken soup.
What about you, my loves?
I'd like to eat crunchy roast pork.
And I'd like to have coconut custard.
That's all I have.
Looks like someone got into the rice.
Maybe it was the rats.
It's all right. I'll hang it higher.
Kim, why are you hitting your sister?
Don't worry, sweetheart.
Come here, son.
Don't fight, children.
You have to love each other.
Don't cry. It's okay.
Don't cry.
There's no need for tears.
Go help your mother.
Don't upset her.
What is it?
I have a message from Angkar.
It's about your daughter Keav.
Thank you.
You're all right.
Don't worry.
Ma is here.
I am here to take care of you.
Work faster!
Why are you standing around?
Get back to work!
What happens when people die?
At first they think
they're sleeping peacefully,
not knowing they are dead.
They sleep for three days.
And then on the third day,
they wake up.
That's when they realize they are dead.
They walk to a river,
wash the dirt from their bodies,
and start their journey to heaven
to reincarnate.
Where do they go?
I don't know.
I hope Keav won't have to come back here.
- Is Comrade Im here?
- Yes, comrade.
Comrade, what can I do for you?
Angkar needs your help
to repair the bridge near Prey Svay.
Comrade, you must come with us.
Please wait a moment, comrade.
Put on a brave face for the children.
They're waiting for me.
Time to get down, sweetheart.
Son, you're the big brother now.
Enough! Time to go!
I have to go.
It's all right.
Brothers and sisters, go to work.
Pa, come back!
My tummy hurts.
Ma, I'm hungry.
Enough. I'm going.
Is there someone there?
If I catch you, I'll beat you to death.
- Forgive me!
- Do you hear me?
- I asked you a question!
- I'm sorry!
Eat it! Go on, eat it!
Forgive me!
Little bastard!
Now will you steal again?
I will stop!
If I catch you again...
I will kill you!
Get out of here!
Beat it!
My poor child!
I'm sorry. I tried.
I'll be gentle.
You have to leave and go far away.
You must each go in a different direction.
Kim, head south.
Chou, you must go north.
Loung, you go east.
Do you understand?
You all have to walk
until you reach a work camp.
Tell them that you are orphans
so they will take you in.
Never tell anyone your real name.
That way, if they catch one of you,
they will not get the others.
Pa left this for you.
I don't want to go.
You have to.
- Ma!
- I don't have any choice!
You must leave!
Go. Out!
Get up!
Let's go.
Hey! Comrades.
There are two kids walking around.
Where are you going, comrade?
We are orphans.
We are looking for a place to live.
Keep on walking that way, comrade.
You will see a red flag.
That's the field.
Thank you.
Comrades, what are you doing here?
My sister and I are orphans.
How old are you?
I am seven. My sister is ten.
Leave your things there.
Then come straight back to work.
Yes, comrade.
Hurry up!
What's your name?
Angkar is all-powerful.
Angkar is the savior and liberator
of the Khmer people.
You are all Angkar's children.
Clay is molded while it is soft.
Only you, children, are free from stain.
Our soldiers at the front line
are crushing the Vietnamese enemies.
Long live our glorious
revolutionary Kampuchea!
Comrade Saryn!
Comrade Sat, come here!
Enough! No affection here!
Don't be weaklings. Get going!
You have to go now, comrades.
You have to go.
Don't drag your feet!
Comrade Srei!
I've brought some new comrades.
These children are very smart and strong.
They will help our revolution.
Come with me.
Crush the Vietnamese!
They are like cockroaches.
We must take our knives
and spill their guts into the dirt!
Smash the aggressors
who dare to invade our country!
On your feet!
Remember this.
Listen, comrades.
You must have a revolutionary mindset.
You see?
Do not fear our enemies!
Use your pain to fight the enemy.
Never show weakness
in the face of the enemy.
Do you hear me?
Yes, we do.
Do you understand, comrades?
We do.
Fight! Get in position.
Make a good hole.
Pull the pin out. Twist it.
Place it in.
Keep it steady.
Now activate it.
Cover it up. Use leaves, twigs, dirt.
Pay attention.
This is our valuable weapon.
Anyone can shoot it.
Take the cartridge out, fill it up,
put it back.
You push this in.
Take aim.
Your right hand squeezes the trigger.
- Do you understand?
- We do.
- Got it?
- Yes.
Long live the invincible
Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea.
Spend a few hours with your sister
and then come back immediately.
The soldiers came for them.
Mama! Wake up!
Comrades, stand up!
Never let down your guard!
If you do, they'll kill you.
You must protect yourselves
in any way you can.
- Do you understand?
- We do.
- Destroy the Vietnamese!
- Destroy them! Destroy them! Destroy them!
Long live the invincible
Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea!
Follow me.
Come join us.
This is Comrade Gat.
And this is Comrade Geh.
So, let's stay together!
I have a chicken.
Let's eat it together.
There are some eggs in the snake!
- The eggs are tasty.
- Very tasty.
Loung, hurry!
Comrade! Comrade!
They caught a Khmer Rouge soldier!
They're taking him up there!
What's your name?
What's your name?
What's your name?
This film is dedicated to those who
lost their lives under the Khmer Rouge.
And those who survived.
US Air Force data revealed
that over 2.7 million tons of explosives
were dropped
during the secret bombing of Cambodia,
a neutral country.
Through execution,
starvation and forced labor,
the Khmer Rouge systematically killed
nearly a quarter
of the country's population.
A daughter of Cambodia remembers
so that others may never forget.