My Khmer Heart
Credits: Directed by Janine Hosking
Details: 95 mins, Australia, English
Synopsis: My Khmer Heart documents the life and work of Australian Geraldine Cox, mother to orphan children, in the ever-shifting political landscape of Cambodia in the mid-late 1990s. Her story weaves a path through the complex and radical Cambodian power and social struggles.
Some may find parts of it too tabloid, but there’s no denying it’s a great story beautifully told.
My Khmer Heart tugs at the heartstrings. It’s a heartbreaking and ultimately inspirational documentary about a single-minded woman who must compromise everything that she believes in to retain the care of 60 orphaned Cambodian kids.
Geraldine Cox is an amazing woman – born in Adelaide, she first went to Cambodia during the Vietnam War. She remained after the war, working for the Australian consulate and witnessing the dictatorship and violent political struggle that has since plagued the country. The thing that’s kept her there is the satisfaction and love she receives from her mission to help children orphaned by Cambodia’s violence and poverty.
Through Geraldine’s frank comments, My Khmer Heart not only documents Cambodia’s rarely discussed human rights atrocities but also paints a picture of a martyr, albeit a flawed and often selfish one. Cox discusses her personal life in no uncertain terms – she proclaims that she screwed like a rabbit with multiple partners in order to prove beyond doubt that she was infertile, and nearly breaks down when discussing her attempt at adoption.
Independently funded, Janine Hosking’s documentary is testament to both its subject and its maker. Some may find parts of it too tabloid (Hosking’s background is in current affairs), but there’s no denying it’s a great story beautifully told.
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