Angelina Jolie has a strong connection with Cambodia after being in the country and filming “Tomb Raider,” volunteering for the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, and adopting her first son, Maddox, from a Battambang orphanage.
Now, the actress-turned-director’s next directorial feat is “First They Killed My Father,” a film based on Cambodian human rights activist Loung Ung’s memoir “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.” Ahead of its world premiere in Siem Reap on February 18, the first look at the project has been shared online.
The movie, co-written by Ung and Jolie, tells the true story of the devastating events that happened in Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge communist party in the 1970s, which killed 2 million people including Ung’s parents and two sisters.
“The heart of it is Loung’s story, it’s the story of a war through the eyes of a child, but it is also the story of a country,” says Jolie in the sneak peek. “It’s the first time there is something of this size about this war in this country. I feel like nobody is here for themselves, and anyone who is here to do any job is here to put something forward and help their country speak.”
The drama worked with only Cambodian actors and is in their native language of Khmer. According to People Magazine, the actors themselves are also survivors and children of the genocide.
Ung and Jolie met in 2001 in Cambodia and through the years became close friends. They then worked together to bring this project to life.
“For the country, what Angie is doing is an amazing gift,” Ung says in the clip.
“First They Killed My Father” will be released globally later this year on Netflix.