UNESCO Peace Ambassador and Author of Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace
Teachers: Visit the free MY HERO Kim Phuc Lesson Plan for this film program. Includes discussion guide and learning outcome.
In 1972, when Kim Phuc was 9 years old, photographer Nick Ut took a famous photo of her running naked and burned from a Napalm attack during the Vietnam War.
The photo shocked the world, depicting the horrors of war. Richard Nixon initially wondered if the photo was a fake because it would increase anti-war sentiment in the public. Ut won a Pulitzer Prize for the photo.
For Kim Phuc, it was difficult to live with the famous photo, the shame of being photographed naked, her feelings of disfigurement from the Napalm burns and the fact that so many had died during the war, including family. She suffered from depression and sucidial thoughts.
Later, as an adult, she was able to defect from Vietnam. She and her husband were granted asylum in Canada and became Canadian citizens. She overcame her personal struggles and turned them into something positive by working with UNESCO as a peace activist. In 1997, she also established the Kim Phúc Foundation for child victims of war. It is now known as the The KIM Foundation International.
In 2017, she wrote the book Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace.
Most recently, in February 2019, she was awarded the Dresden Peace Prize.
Kim told MY HERO in 2022, "I believe a hero is brave and does the right thing no matter the consequences. A hero thinks right, does right, makes great sacrifices, and stays humble."
The Sunrise Storyteller (2018) directed by Kasha Slavner
This excerpt from the short film "The Sunrise Storyteller" features Kim Phúc.
In this stunning first-hand account of struggling to find answers in a world that only seemed to bring anguish, Kim ultimately discovers strength in someone who had suffered himself, transforming her tragedy into an unshakable faith.
Related Pages | Art About the Vietnam War
Ron Kovic is a peace activist and Vietnam War veteran whose life was made into a film by Oliver Stone: Born on the 4th of July. Every year Ron awards the Ron Kovic Peace Prize at the MY HERO International Film Festival. In 2018, he awarded the prize to student director Kasha Slavner for an excerpt from her short "The Sunrise Storyteller," which features Kim Phúc.
Related Pages | Stories About the Vietnam War
Ron Kovic is a Vietnam War veteran who became a leading anti-war activist and wrote the award-winning film "Born on the Fourth of July."
Discover a New Hero 365 Days a Year
Organizer created on 3/27/2019 4:46:58 PM by Xenia Shin
Last edited 3/30/2022 1:34:10 PM by Abigail Richardson