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.
 

3.5
My Khmer Heart documents the life and work of Australian Geraldine Cox.

Geraldine Cox is the centre of the film, and it`s her life, her needs that bring an interesting insight into an extraordinary situation and history. Cox was a woman who`d wrestled with the trauma of not being able to have children herself. She found her family in an orphanage in Cambodia, originally sponsored by Prince Ranariddh and his wife. Her involvement with the orphanage became entwined with the recent turbulent history of Cambodia after a coup by Hun Sen ousted the Prince from government. As the story of a woman, it`s fascinating. As a documentary about how Cox`s needs coincided with the needs of those around her it`s slightly less satisfying. There are very few Cambodian voices in the film except for Prince Ranariddh and Hun Sen and you rather suspect that each is using the documentary as a political tool as much as it`s using them. My Khmer Heart travels an emotional road, and perhaps that`s overexploited by director Janine Hosking. With the stentorian voice of Sir Peter Ustinov and texts from Buddha`s teachings My Khmer Heart is perhaps slightly too conscious of its own worthiness, however as an emotional human story about Geraldine Cox, an unabashed self confessor, it has its moments.Comments from David StrattonA wonderful portrait of a brave Australian woman whose work with Cambodian orphans is obviously fulfilling an essential need. The film also explores the recent politics of the country as it impinges on Geraldine Cox and her work. I could have done without Peter Ustinov`s too fruity readings of lines from the Buddha, but otherwise this is a fine, traditional piece of documentary filmmaking.

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1 hour 35 min

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