Cambodian Son

Born in a refugee camp in Cambodia, poet Kosal Khiev grew up in the U.S. with his mother and siblings. By the age of 16, he was convicted of attempted murder and spent the next 14 years in prison — including 18 months of solitary confinement in California's new Folsom State Prison. In jail, he found writing and spoken-word mentors and upon release became a student/participant in the inaugural class of The Actors' Gang, led by founder Tim Robbins. As a refugee with permanent resident status but no US citizenship, however, Khiev was deported to Cambodia, a country he had never known. The documentary follows a year in his life as he navigates his new fame as Phnom Penh's premier poet.

Total CPB Investment: 


Made Possible by CPB's: 

Masahiro Sugano
Chicago, IL
TVPRG - CAAM subgrant


Arts & Culture