First They Killed My Father

Synopsis: Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung recounts the horrors she suffered as a child under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge.
Director(s): Angelina Jolie
Production: Netflix Originals
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 24 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.2
Metacritic:
72
Rotten Tomatoes:
88%
TV-MA
Year:
2017
136 min
1,179 Views


EXT. PHNOM PENH APARTMENT BALCONY - DAY

April 1975

We are inside a POV. Walking towards a balcony.

We pass a TV where news about the Vietnam war coming to an

end is playing. We see a reflection in the television. We see

our reflection. A little girl. LOUNG. The news then shows the

evacuation of the American embassy in Phnom Penh Cambodia. A

Helicopter takes off from the embassy. The little girl turns

and walks toward a view not dissimilar to the one near the

American embassy on the news.

Little caramel colored legs and feet on a balcony. The edge

of a skirt in the wind identifies the child as a little girl.

She begins to climb to the top of the railing. Her little

hands and feet. The sound of a helicopter coming towards her.

Finally she reaches the top. She watches as a helicopter

almost identical to the one on the television flies low over

her head. This brave free spirited little girl is LOUNG. At

five she stands looking out over city from the third floor.

Her POV of her feet. Toes wiggling. The city below.

The streets are mostly empty except for a few street vendors.

Some shops are closed, some shops are open, there are sand

bags in front of some houses. A few people ride in Cyclos. A

few on motorcycles. Not much movement.

Loung watches the people. (Their clothing and style help us

to know it’s 1975.)

EXT. PHNOM PHEN STREETS

Loung continues to watch.

Military police officers walk the streets.

The front of some shops sandbags covering the glass entrances

making them less than welcoming.

Loung notices FOUR YOUNG MEN (peasant revolutionaries) sit

along a wall staring angrily at well to do couples shopping

in the market. Loung doesn’t understand the look on their

faces but it makes her uncomfortable.

OMITTED:

A billboard for a movie poster across the street catches her

eye.

2.

MA (O.S.)

Loung. Come down.

Loung looks to her mother. MA is admired in Cambodia for her

height, slender build and light skin. She is a very

beautiful, very elegant woman of Chinese decent. Ma has GEAK,

Loung’s three year old sister, in her arms. Luong jumps down

and goes to her.

Cambodian News Years has just past. Red decorations still on

the wall. Happy New Years (in french) hangs on the wall.

Ma puts Geak down and the girls play or share a fruit plate

Ma has put out.

Loung watches as Geak’s fruit drips all over her dress. (This

can be anything from toys to fruit. The point is for the

child to notice sweet things before the war and for the

audience to get used to a child’s view of the world)

OMITTED:

INT. PHNOM PENH APARTMENT - LATE DAY

PA and a COLLEAGUE of his enter the room. Loung jumps into

his arms. Pa is loved for his generous heart. He reminds

Loung of a teddy bear. His eyes are warm and brown and shaped

like the moon. Loung plays with the four stripes on his

uniform. Pa greets her and asks about her day.

Pa’s Colleague seems concerned but remains professional. They

speak in french (no translation as Loung can’t understand as

he intends).

COLLEAGUE COLLEAGUE

Les Am.ricains nous The Americans have abandoned

abandonnent. us. They have all already

Ils sont d.j. tous partis, left, the ambassador and the

ambassadeur, attach. military attache...

militaire…

PA PA.

C'est l. notre grande erreur It was a huge error to

d'avoir cru en eux. believe in them.

3.

COLLEAGUE COLLEAGUE.

Qui aurait cru qu'ils

abandonnent un peuple qui se

bat pour sa libert. ? Les

Khmers rouges sont d.j. .

Takmao et . l'ouest ils sont

en passe de contr.ler

l'a.roport de Pochentong.

Nos forces ne tiendront pas

48 heures de plus, il

faudrait n.gocier maintenant.

PA:

Il ne faut pas trop

s'inqui.ter.

Hou Youn, Hou Nim, Khieu

Samphan sont des

nationalistes. On trouvera

bien une solution entre

Cambodgiens.

Who would of guessed they

would have abandoned the

people fighting for freedom.

The Khmer Rouge are already

at Takmao and they have

passed the west, controlling

Pochentong airport. Our

forces cannot hold for more

than 48 hours, we have to

negotiate now.

PA.

Don't worry to much. Hou

Youn, Hou Nim, Khieu Samphan

are nationalist. We will find

a good solution between us as

Cambodians.

Because she can’t understand, Loung looses interest and

crawls out of his arms.

(They could turn on the radio at one point and it could add

to the information about situation.)

INT. PHNOM PENH APARTMENT LIVING ROOM - LATE DAY

Loung walks into the living room where her brother KIM, ten,

listening to music on a record player. His records and comics

are spread out all over the floor. Like all older brothers he

likes to give his little sisters trouble.

Loung reaches for the crickets (or colorful fruit) he is

eating. He chops at her arm kung fu style. He does a huanaman

(monkey king) kick. (Possibly in Pa’s helmet)

CHOU helps with Geak.

Loung looks up at KHOUY and MENG her eldest brothers who have

just walked in the door. Meng greets her with a smile and

musses her hair. He is gentle and soft spoken like Pa. Khouy

is cool with his sunglasses and long hair. (Maybe he brings

something to Kim or tried out a new record.)

INT. PHNOM PENH APARTMENT - EVENING

Everyone sits at the table. Set with elegance. Ma and KEAV

Loung’s beautiful older sister, help serve the food. Loung

watches their hands. So delicate. Their grace and poise is a

mystery to her.

4.

CLOSE UP - Loung’s POV of food. Loung drops two whole peppers

in her soup and Pa looks on approvingly. She crushes the

peppers against the side of her bowl with a spoon.

Rate this script:4.5 / 2 votes

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is an American actress, filmmaker, and humanitarian. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and has been cited as Hollywood's highest-paid actress. more…

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