Perhaps her first mistake was to be born as a Cambodian in this century, certainly her second was to marry a man who joined the Khmer Rouge. Even so, she and her children were safely living in France when that organization seized power in Cambodia in 1975. Her big mistake was to answer what seemed to be a call by her husband to return to Cambodia: on arriving, she can find no hint that he even exists, and she is swiftly fed to the meat-grinder of the Khmer Rouge's primitivist vision. Her children are taken from her and she is sent into the countryside to do "honest" labor in the fields, while suffering through countless indoctrination sessions. She finds out that her husband is dead, and her children have been killed. However, despite being raped and taken as the sexual property of a commune leader, she somehow survives to appreciate the irony of her liberation at the hands of the invading army of Vietnamese in 1979.
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