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Jolie's Cambodian film hailed her best directorial yet

Writer: Farah Hanis


Angelina Jolie's fourth directorial feature, "First They Killed My Father", received a
standing ovation at the Telluride Film Festival.

4 Sep – Angelina Jolie's latest directorial effort, "First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers", received a standing ovation for its North American debut at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.

It has been lauded as Jolie's best directorial work so far. "Now she's delivered her best" (IndieWire), ""First They Killed My Father" is Jolie's best work" (Awards Circuit) and ""First They Killed My Father" is Angelina Jolie's best directorial effort yet" (THR) were some of the comments that can be found on social media following its Telluride screening.

The actress-turned-director first bought a copy of the memoir the movie is based on for USD2 on a street corner during one of her first trips to Cambodia and claimed that it has changed her life, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


"I was struck by how ignorant I was," Jolie said of her understanding towards the Cambodia's history, leading to the purchase of the memoir.

Her oldest son, Maddox, who was adopted from an orphanage in Cambodia back in 2002, was also involved in the film production since beginning.

"I wanted my son to know where he comes from," Jolie explained.

"He (Maddox) was the one who said he wanted us to make the film. We'd had the script for a few years. We said, "When you're ready – because you're going to have to work with us – go deep, research, be there," she revealed of her son's involvement.

"We're going to go deep into your country's history. You're going to work with your fellow countrymen and learn and love. This is going to be very immersive and I need you to be ready to understand what this all means."

Her other son, 13-year-old Pax, also served as an on-set photographer for the film.


Jolie making the screening a family affair by bringing all her children to the
film festival. (Photo source: Paul Best | Getty Images)

Based on the memoir of Cambodian-born American human-rights activist Loung Ung on her life as a child soldier in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime, the Netflix film had Jolie on board as director, producer and co-writer.

The movie adaptation follows young Loung Ung (played by fresh-faced newcomer Sareum Srey Moch) who struggles for survival during the oppressive Khmer Rouge regime, which was responsible for the class-driven murders of millions of Cambodians between the years of 1975 to 1978.

"First They Killed My Father" is set to premiere on Netflix this 15 September.

However, Cambodians, who previously had the honour of being the first audience to watch the movie's premiere earlier this year, will soon enjoy another privilege as the movie will be released in Cambodian cinemas only this 8 September.

(Photo source: Jason Merritt | Getty Images)

Cinema Online, 04 September 2017



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