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Angelina Jolie Says First They Killed My Father Is a “Love Letter to Cambodian People”

The adaptation of Loung Ung’s First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers is coming to Netflix soon. Directing this brutal story of the Pol Pot regime is Angelina Jolie, who wrote the film with Ung. The two first met 15 years ago and are close friends.

In this director’s editorial, Jolie discusses the importance of a film that Ung says is “a story not just of my family but the story of a nation. I wasn’t going to trust it to anybody.” Jolie says:

“If you know nothing about Cambodia and you see this film you won’t just think, ‘These are people that suffered through a war.’ You will think these are really interesting people, their roots and their personality, their humor, their love of music, their culture–it’s all of that. It has to be, in the end, this love letter to Cambodian people.”

Producer Rithy Panh and Jolie also talk about Jolie bringing her children Maddox and Pax on the project. Maddox conducted research and was in production meetings. The director says she wanted him to give the film more of a child’s perspective. Jolie talks about the personal aspect of the film and her hope that he would feel close to his home country and “understand what Maddox’s parents may have gone through.” The Jolie family makes regular trips to Cambodia and the director refers to it as “a second home.”

First They Killed My Father will definitely be a brutal watch, but an important one. Are you going to watch it?

(Image via screencap)

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