The Full Transcript: Motthida Chin, Cambodian Genocide survivor

“I think the part that struck me most in this movie was when the mom told all the kids to go in each direction. Well my mom did the same thing. She told me to ‘just go’ . . . I remember holding onto her leg and not wanting to go. But I had to. And I never saw her again.

After being here I learned that she died soon after because of starvation. And then I remembered her giving me the rice soup, which was just water, but she still gave me all her portion. So now I understand why she starved to death.

But with that in mind, I never really did forgive her. I hated every Mother’s Day. I lived quietly and carelessly. I didn’t think about a lot of things I chose to do or did. I didn’t care. I guess that’s how I numb myself. I don’t talk about it and I didn’t care.

And I [held] a lot of grudge [toward] my mother. I put all my energy towards that but I never talked about it. Until my adulthood I still blamed her for not keeping me with her. Because I wanted to be with her. So that’s why I don’t tell my story.

But now I have two sons of my own–they’re ten and twelve–and, you know, it’s okay to talk about it . . . I now understand [my mother] because I’m a mother. What she did was she gave me a life. I didn’t understood that. I kept on blaming her, hating her, hating life. Well, that’s why I’m alive–because of her and her decisions.”

Motthida Chin / First They Killed My Father screening, Seattle WA, Fri Sep 15, 2017

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