Cambodian Son documents the life of deported poet, Kosal Khiev after receiving the most important
performance invitation of his career—to represent the Kingdom of Cambodia at the London 2012
Cultural Olympiad. Kosal would travel to London having only taken two flights prior; first, as a 1-yearold refugee child whose family fled Cambodia and, then as a 32-year-old criminal “alien” forcibly
returned to Cambodia in 2011. The film follows a volatile yet charming and talented young man who
struggles to find his footing amongst a new freedom that was granted only through his deportation.
Kosal’s London representation is a triumphant moment for many people in his life, both in America
and Cambodia. The film traces the impact and significance of this moment for Kosal, his friends,
family, mentors and a growing international fan base. Armed only with memorized verses, he must
face the challenges of being a deportee while navigating his new fame as Phnom Penh’s premiere
poet. After the performances end and the London stage becomes a faint memory, Kosal is once again
left alone to answer the central question in his life: “How do you survive when you belong nowhere?”
In cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and "Kultur als Brücke".