Healing Fields Movie in the Works

The story of Hoang Taing, who survived the Khmer Rouge era and is now a popular motivational speaker in the US, will be featured in a new documentary film titled “The Killing Field to a Healing Land.”

The Cambodian production was an­nounced at a press conference held Friday in Phnom Penh by Ocean Park Pictures, a company based in Hollywood in the US state of California.

Hoang Taing was born in Kompong Cham province in 1969 to ethnic Chinese parents, who fled China in the late 1940s and settled in Vietnam before coming to Cambodia and eventually moving to Phnom Penh.

She was 6 when the Khmer Rouge took over in 1975. Her father was on a business trip in Vietnam and couldn’t return. Hoang Taing, her mother and her sister were moved to Prey Veng province.

They survived the Khmer Rouge re­gime, and in 1979 went to Vietnam to be re­united with Hoang Taing’s father. But her mother, worn out from hard labor and lack of food, died soon after they reached Vietnam.

Hoang Taing’s father and the two children left Vietnam on a small boat and headed into the South China Sea. Luckily, a bigger boat picked them up and took them to safety in Malaysia. Eventually, US sponsors paid for the family to move to the US.

Hoang Taing grew up in the US, and in 1995 founded “The Power of Thinking Positive,” an organization that encourages self-confidence, positive motivation, and personal responsibility, particularly among poor inner-city youth in the US. She once ran across the US between the cities of Philadelphia and San Francisco. She gave speeches along the way encouraging Americans to voluntarily serve their communities.

Filming is scheduled to take place in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and Kompong Cham province.

Hoang Taing will play herself as an adult, according to documentary producer Tim Gold­berg, who expects to spend six months making the film.

The film is being financed by private groups in the US. Canadia Bank is paying for food, accommodations and travel expense for the film crew while they are in Cambodia.

The movie will be shown first in the US and eventually presented in Cambodia.



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