First They Killed My Father

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First They Killed My Father
US edition paperback cover
Author Loung Ung
Cover artist Loung Ung, Mary Schuck
Country United States
Language English
Genre memoir
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication date
Media type Print (paperback)
Pages 238 p.
ISBN 0-06-093138-8
OCLC 45831904

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers is a 2000 non-fiction book written by Loung Ung, a Cambodian author and childhood survivor of the Pol Pot regime. It is her personal account of her experiences during the Khmer Rouge years.

Until the age of five, Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loves the open city markets, fried crickets, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. While her beautiful mother worried that Loung is a troublemaker — that she stomped around like a thirsty cow — her beloved father knew Loung was a clever girl.

When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army storm into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung's family fled their home and moved from village to village to hide their identity, their education, their former life of privilege. Eventually, the family dispersed in order to survive. Because Loung was resilient and determined, she trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans whilst other siblings were sent to labour camps. As the Vietnamese penetrate Cambodia, destroyed the Khmer Rouge, the surviving siblings were slowly reunited. Bolstered by the shocking bravery of one brother, the vision of the others and sustained by her sister's gentle kindness amid brutality, Loung forged herself a courageous new life.[1]

Film adaptation[edit]

The book is being adapted as a movie that was produced and directed by Angelina Jolie. The film premiere on February 18, 2017 in Siem Reap, Cambodia .[2]

"The heart of it is Loung's story," Jolie, 41, who directed the film, says in the clip. "It's the story of a war through the eyes of a child, but it is also the story of a country." To construct an accurate portrait of the genocide and war, Jolie used only Cambodian actors who speak their native language, Khmer. She gathered hundreds of survivors and their children to re-create their stories.The movie was filmed in Cambodia.


  1. ^ "First They Killed My Father (Ung)". LitLovers. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "Angelina Jolie Pitt to Direct Netflix Original Film 'First They Killed My Father'". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 July 2015.,By Nicholas Hautman February 4, 2017

External links[edit]