Angelina Jolie has found a powerful voice as a director. It’s time we listened | Bidisha https://t.co/ukUs6QhrKD— Guardian culture (@guardianculture) September 19, 2017
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Posted by FussyKitty at 12:13 PM
Monday, September 18, 2017
Angelina Jolie Still Breaks the Rules: Why ‘First They Killed My Father’ is the Movie No Studio Would Make https://t.co/40gDyGOQZF pic.twitter.com/ZQ19TgJVOV— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) September 18, 2017
IndieWire talked to Angelina Jolie about why choosing Netflix meant the only leeches she had to fight were real ones in Cambodia.
Angelina Jolie is basking in a standing ovation at Telluride after the first screening of “First They Killed My Father.” It’s the film she wanted to make: Based on the 2000 memoir of Loung Ung, who was five when the Khmer Rouge forced her family into work camps, it required a $24 million budget, a 60-day shoot, a two-hour, 16-minute cut. The only place she pitched the film is the only one who would let her make it: Netflix.
“She had a very specific view of the story she wanted to tell,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “It’s very traditional. It’s just as resource-intense to make a small film as a big film, where there isn’t much infrastructure in Cambodia. It would have been difficult to get made anywhere, with all local talent. It all pays off on the screen.”
While Jolie’s film may be traditional in some ways, it’s radical in many others. “Netflix said ‘yes,’ and good on Ted Sarandos,” said Jolie. They could have said, ‘Yes, but here are your restrictions: You have to do it in English, you have to ask someone who’s known from China to play her mother, you have to cut these things to make it a smaller number.'”
Here’s Jolie’s vision for the film, which became the biggest film ever shot in Cambodia and is now the country’s official Oscar entry for Best Foreign-Language film. It will be hard to beat — and it could also serve as checklist of reasons why any studio would say, “No.”
1. The movie chooses truth over gloss.
Ung was 30 when she began talking to family members in Cambodia and researching “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.” And 17 years ago, when Jolie visited Cambodia for the first time to shoot “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” she read Ung’s memoir and looked her up, sharing her desire to adopt a Cambodian child — who turned out to be her son Maddox. They have been close friends ever since.
Jolie and Ung worked on a script, whittling her story into a lean screenplay and looking for the visual details. Ung still cherishes the blue shirt in the film, the one article of clothing from her past that did not get dyed black. “The book is the film,” Jolie told me at Telluride. “The guide. I don’t feel like I made this as much as I just put the pieces together and brought people together. It’s grown into something we all made together. And Maddox is learning about his country for the first time.”
2. A young girl’s realistic and very uncomfortable perspective tells the story.
Jolie slowly takes us through each transition, showing it all from the perspective of wide-eyed young Loung Ung, who learns what it means to be unsafe and abused and starving. Along the way, she loses family members and trains to become a child soldier. And she is eventually separated from both of her parents and all but one sibling.
“They were on that road, and they just can’t get off that road,” Jolie said. “And their feet hurt and they want to get off that road and the audience wants to get off that road. You have to make them stay on that road and let them see how heavy that thing was that she was carrying.”
Agile Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle’s cameras take us close to Ung as she experiences what is going on around her. You see the flora and fauna, the beauty of nature, flowers and insects. On set, leeches were so commonplace in water scenes that everyone just flicked them off. And that’s a real giant fuzzy tarantula.
3. It’s a Cambodian movie.
Of course, Jolie has seen “The Killing Fields;” it’s one of her favorite films. But she “wanted to do something where the hero was Cambodian,” she said. “And I wanted it to be mine. And shot in Cambodia.”
Jolie loves directing because it lets her pursue subjects that she cares about, even though “the pressure of being the director and making sure it goes well for everybody can be really hard,” she said. “I also like the responsibility and I like to work hard and I hope I can be a good leader collaborating with great people.”
Also joining Jolie, who has been a Cambodian citizen for a decade, was Cambodian filmmaker and producer Rithy Panh, who directed foreign-language Oscar nominee “The Missing Picture.” His Rithy Bophana Prods. hired and supervised more than 500 Cambodian craftspeople and technicians, many of whom, like him, were survivors or children of survivors of the genocide. The film recruited more than 3,500 Cambodian background actors.
“It was very hard to get things brought in,” said Jolie, “the equipment and moving things around. Rithy never make me feel like he was looking over my shoulder. He was giving me what you would want, which is support.”
Ironically, given his history under the Khmer Rouge, Pan helped organize the Khmer Rouge soldiers on set. And Ung’s role was “taking care of everybody,” said Jolie, who juggled large battle sequences, stuntmen, explosions, and thousands of extras. “I was making sure everyone was safe first and foremost, for sure,” she said.
In one battle scene, the children are caught in the crossfire between the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese Army, crouching in the river trying to find cover. “Mapping out a battle sequence that is going to be seen from one person’s point of view focuses you,” she said. “You can’t just shoot any shot that you feel is cool. You put yourself in a restricted position. We had to find a part of the river where she would be in the center of that, and figure out how things would move around her.”
4. The sound design is delicate, the soundtrack minimal.
The score by Marco Beltrami is neither manipulative nor overbearing. “I want to use it where I need to use it, and I like it to feel real,” Jolie said. “Because it’s the emotional point of view of a child. We needed to be her, absorbing things at the pace that she would be able to allow herself to be observant, so she looks directly at some things at the end, and that’s when it gets more horrific. This was a child’s mind that gets assaulted.”
Finally, Jolie wanted Netflix for its global outreach. “I feel this kind of film needs an audience,” she said. “I wanted to educate people, I wanted to do this for Cambodia. I didn’t want it to be that small thing that disappeared. It will reach over 100 countries. I appreciate there are times people want to see a movie together at home. Because it’s very emotional and it’s heavy and they have the option of watching it on their own time. What I felt was best was to really get this message out.”
Angelina Jolie on her gripping new film about the Cambodian genocide | Culture | The Times & The Sunday Times https://t.co/RH6GkOXIZP— Panh Rithy (@RPanh) September 18, 2017
Angelina Jolie on her gripping new film about the Cambodian genocide
The Hollywood actress tells the true story of a young girl’s survival under Pol Pot. She talks to Jon Swain, himself a witness to the killing fields, about making it real
The Sunday Times, September 17 2017, 12:01am
When Angelina Jolie first arrived in Cambodia 17 years ago, she knew little about the country’s tragic past. She was there to be filmed amid the fabled Angkor temples in scenes for the action-packed adventure Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Something stopped the young actress turning her back on the country, however. It captivated her.
In the 1970s, the Vietnam War had spilled across Cambodia’s borders and the country was convulsed by civil war, accompanied by American bombing. What followed in 1975 was Pol Pot’s murderous revolution. He turned the clock back to Year Zero, telling the millions of Cambodians toiling in the giant labour camp their country had become: “To spare you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss.” His genocidal regime killed about 2m people, or a quarter of the population.
Jolie was smitten by the survivors’ brave struggle to recover and by Cambodia’s beauty. She returned again and again. She adopted a Cambodian orphan, her son Maddox, and became involved in humanitarian work: in recognition of that, by royal decree, she was made a Cambodian citizen.
Now the Oscar-winning actress has made a film about the genocide, as seen through the eyes of a little girl. First They Killed My Father is adapted from the bestselling book of that name by Loung Ung, who by the age of 10 had endured the killing of her mother and father, and the death of two sisters, at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Through luck and her own resilience, she survived, and she and Jolie collaborated on the script.
Cambodia was a living hell. Doctors, professionals, even those with soft hands or spectacles that suggested they could read, were killed, and their executioners were often child soldiers. Pol Pot saw children such as Ung not as individuals, but as tiny vessels to be indoctrinated as a source of power. Even children’s laughter was forbidden.
This is not the first feature film to explore the Khmer Rouge genocide. In 1984, Roland Joffé directed The Killing Fields, in which I am a character. But what distinguishes Jolie’s film and makes it so special is that she shot it in Cambodia, in the very place where so many people had suffered and died, using an all-Cambodian cast, many of whom were survivors or the children of survivors. The dialogue is also in the Cambodian language.
The film had its premiere earlier this year in Siem Reap. It was screened a few days later in the inner arena of the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, which I remember in the last weeks of the war as a casualty receiving centre, overflowing with the dead and dying as rockets crashed around.
I spoke to Jolie about it last week. As director, she said, she saw her role as shepherding the film and making it possible. But, ultimately, she believed it had to be made by the people of Cambodia themselves.
Cambodia has moved on a great deal in the past 40 years. Yet for many the genocide still looms over their lives, and the topic remains politically sensitive. Was the country ready for her film, and did Jolie ever doubt that it would work?
“Yes, I did,” she admitted. “I was not sure, and so we stepped very lightly. For some films, making and releasing them is the success. For this film, being able to make it — having the ability to make it, and the country agreeing to it — was the success.”
She said if the Cambodians had not responded and come forward to work on the film, and the local authorities and NGOs had not been willing to make it possible and give their support, she would not have been able to go ahead.
Its authenticity, she insisted, was not due to any talent of hers, but to her ability to listen. She let the Cambodians guide the film, from how a father might respond to his children to how the Khmer Rouge would behave in particular scenes. It was not her imagination informing it, but long, hard, painful conversations with people who had to recall what it was like.
“Everything we learnt to make the film was something we were learning about the country itself — where the scars had settled, why we would need therapists on set — because so many people had never talked about their experiences before,” she said.
“We were conscious we were in the very country, on the very ground, where people were hurt and buried, and that we were recreating those times and a very particular negative energy, which is palpable for Cambodians, given they have such a strong sense of the spirits.”
As a result, she said, nothing was more important than being respectful of the souls of those who had perished. “Before we put actors in Khmer Rouge uniforms, we would have spirit houses on set, and incense and traditional offerings.”
Having witnessed myself at first hand as a young journalist the Khmer Rouge’s brutal takeover of the country, I had wondered, too, whether the film could ever capture the atmosphere of those terrible times. I need not have worried. I think the film is remarkable for its authenticity. It is wrenching and sad and full of beauty and humanity, like the Cambodia I once knew.
People clapped and wept at the Phnom Penh screening. The old members of the audience saw themselves in it, and the young ones realised what their parents and grandparents had suffered; it was, for some, the first time they had talked to each other about the genocide. For, although the film is based on Ung’s story, it is the story of all Cambodian children and the parents who tried to protect them and keep them alive.
“It is Loung’s story, but survivors see it as their story, too, and it is wonderful that they see themselves in it,” Jolie said. “It has been accepted as a true story, but also as a fable to tell people what happened.”
The acclaimed film-maker Rithy Panh worked closely with Jolie as her co-producer. He, too, lost his family under Pol Pot, and his own films, most notably the award-winning documentary The Missing Picture, have shone a light on the genocide. Panh was keen to ensure that the film’s portrayal of the Khmer Rouge’s barbarity did not stamp out the country’s underlying humanity. Here and there, we see glorious lotus flowers blooming in the mud, symbols of hope amid the horror.
“Angelina is not someone who came to make a film about us,” Panh told me. “She came to make a film with us. She loves Cambodia sincerely, with humility. One thing I remember that stays with me. She asked me if I could build a small spirit house on set. Sometimes she would put incense, just as we do, to pay respect to the spirits and the souls at the location where we were shooting. She did it so naturally.”
Nobody will fail to be moved by the poignantly uplifting performance of Sreymoch Sareum, the little girl playing Ung. Coming from a simple family in the Phnom Penh suburbs, and seven at the time of filming, she is hardly as tall as the AK-47 rifle she is forced to carry, and has Ung’s cheeky resilience and independence.
Jolie said she gave so much more than anyone expected from such a young actor. “In the editing room, when I thought I would cut away to the point of view, I kept coming back to her. She is a very intelligent young girl, as well as a wonderful actor. You are drawn to her because you can see her mind working, and she is very present.”
“There was an affection between her and Angelina,” Panh said. “Angelina created an environment where she understood it was not reality, it was a film, so there was no confusion. We did not tell her to cry or not to cry. She decided herself, according to the environment we created for her. Angelina corrected a few things, but she never pushed her into performing something unnatural to her.”
The film provides an important lesson about Cambodia’s need for reconciliation with justice, not revenge. There is an incident in Ung’s book where a captured Khmer Rouge soldier is beaten to death by a vengeful crowd. In the film he is battered, but survives. The decision to change it was made in a group discussion between Ung, Jolie and Panh.
“We could not leave viewers with the feeling that Cambodians were vengeful people,” Jolie said. “There were acts of revenge, but they were minimal compared with the amount of forgiveness and moving forward that was shown.”
Killing the Khmer Rouge soldier would have been more dramatic in some respects on screen. But the three of them agreed that it would have been less true to Cambodia and did not fit in with the emotions of a child like Loung. “The suffering from this genocide is so great that it exceeds the desire for vengeance,” Panh said.
He disagreed profoundly with the German philosopher Theodor W Adorno’s controversial dictum that “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric”. “I say that after Auschwitz we need more poetry. For me that is the lesson of this film. It proves we Cambodians are capable of speaking and expressing ourselves about our history. At last we can talk and discuss what happened, and thereby begin a process of reconstruction of our identity.”
The genocide still casts a shadow. But it is fading with time. Watching Jolie’s film, I am reminded once again that the beauty of Cambodia lies almost everywhere, and most of all in the faces of its children who are the same age as Ung was 40 years ago. How heartwarming it is to see them playing and laughing together, unlike Ung and all those others whose childhood was stolen by genocide.
First They Killed My Father is available on Netflix
Watch @thathagengrrl & @franklinleonard's screenwriting panel from @TIFF_NET ft. FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER & more! https://t.co/lgnmh4bcT7— The Black List (@theblcklst) September 18, 2017
Oscars: Angelina Jolie’s ‘First They Killed My Father’ is Cambodia’s Foreign Language Film entry
Sep 18, 2017 10:00 am
Angelina Jolie just got more good news about her new film “First They Killed My Father,” which opened on Sept. 15 to rave reviews. Cambodia is submitting the Netflix release, which chronicles the horrific childhood of Loung Ung under the deadly Khmer Rouge of the 1970s, for Oscar consideration as Best Foreign Language Film. There had been some question as to whether the current government of Cambodia would endorse the film in such a public manner.
“First They Killed My Father” will now face off against upwards of 90 other Oscar contenders for one of the five Foreign Language Film nominations. These are arrived at by a two-step process that will begin after the Oct. 2 deadline for countries to submit entries.
First, the several hundred academy members of the screening committee are divided into groups and required to watch a number of the submissions over a two-month period that ends in mid December. They will rate these from 6 to 10 and their top six vote-getters move on to the next round. In addition, three films will be added by the 20 members of the executive committee. Those latter picks tend to be films far less accessible than “First They Killed My Father.”
The nine semi-finalists will then be screened three per day beginning in early January by select committee members in both New York and Hollywood who will then vote for the final five which will be revealed, along with the other Oscar nominations on Jan. 23, 2018.
Oscars: Cambodia Selects Angelina Jolie's 'First They Killed My Father' for Foreign-Language Category https://t.co/crBKt6A5DG pic.twitter.com/UrdSCmNR4V— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 18, 2017
It's official: Angelina Jolie's fourth film as a director, First They Killed My Father, is Cambodia's submission for the best foreign-language film Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards.
"This means a great deal to all of us involved in making the film," Jolie said in a statement in response to the news. "To work with local artists to bring this story forward has been a moving and humbling experience," she added.
First They Killed My Father, was fully financed and produced by Netflix. The film is an adaptation of a memoir by Cambodian writer Loung Ung about her childhood experience of surviving the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge genocide. Untrained child actor Sareum Srey Moch has won rave reviews for her portrayal of the lead.
The Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee announced its pick Monday, saying: "First They Killed My Father explores a tragic period of history through the eyes of a child. Dialogue is at a minimum and it works well with the story told through intense cinematic images. Committee members as well as the Khmer community found the film to be cathartic, as it brought back memories often best forgotten."
First They Killed My Father is currently screening theatrically at all major cinemas in Cambodia. Despite Netflix's notoriety for eschewing the big screen, it's understood that Jolie, who holds dual citizenship with Cambodia and adopted one of her children in the country, felt that it was important that the movie be made widely available there. "We're making this first and foremost for Cambodia," she said during the film's U.S. premiere at Telluride last week.
"We were together when we received the news and it was very emotional," Loung Ung, who also served as co-writer and executive producer o the film, said of the announcement. "This has been a long journey for me, and while it is personal, it is also reflective of the experience of millions of Cambodians. We are very proud to be representing Cambodia as this year's selection and share this moment with the country."
The movie is also co-produced by Cambodian auteur and past Oscar nominee Rithy Panh (The Missing Picture), whose Phnom Penh-based company Bophana Production supplied production services to the project.
"I am very happy and very proud," added Panh. "Because the film is original and powerful. Because thousands of us participated in the film's making and so, too, in writing a chapter of Cambodia's collective history. And because this history doesn't belong only to the Cambodia people; it is universal. Cinema also is a way to talk about the resilience and dignity of human beings."
Oscars: Angelina Jolie’s ‘First They Killed My Father’ Named Cambodia’s Foreign Language Entry https://t.co/NGkiwgseZv— Nancy Tartaglione (@DeadlineNancy) September 18, 2017
UPDATE, writethru after Sunday 11:01 PM exclusive: Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father has been set as the Cambodian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Deadline reported late Sunday night that confirmation of the selection was imminent, and early Monday morning the Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee made it official. The Netflix title, directed and co-written by Jolie, is about author and human rights activist Loung Ung’s life under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge. It premiered in Telluride and then went on to Toronto where it won strong praise. The story is told through Ung’s eyes, from the age of five, when the Khmer Rouge came to power.
First They Killed My Father’s selection as the foreign language entry marks the first time such a high-profile American director has been the representative of another country in another tongue. It is also the 6th submission ever from Cambodia where the film held a premiere in February and was released September 8 in local theaters.
Jolie said in a statement today, “This means a great deal to all of us involved in making the film. To work with local artists to bring this story forward has been a moving and humbling experience.” Added Ung, “We were together when we received the news and it was very emotional. This has been a long journey for me, and while it is personal, it is also reflective of the experience of millions of Cambodians. We are very proud to be representing Cambodia as this year’s selection and share this moment with the country.”
Since 2005, Jolie has held dual U.S./Cambodian nationality. Her passion project was shot entirely in the country with an all-local cast. According to the Khmer Times, the film has been “hailed as a technical milestone for the local film industry, with the production employing thousands of Cambodian artisans, technicians and extras.”
In the U.S., First They Killed My Father was released theatrically on September 15 in the Top 10 markets, the same day it launched globally on Netflix.
The streaming service’s Ted Sarandos was asked by Deadline’s Pete Hammond recently about plans to have this film submitted by Cambodia for the FL Oscar contest, and he said he was confident it would happen. Jolie said the fact that First They Killed My Father might be submitted by the current regime was remarkable considering some of the things going on there now including attempts to shut down some of the media. “I am a western woman and it would be amazing if they could agree to send our film (to the Academy),” she said, adding it would be a powerful and surprising message of unified support from the government. Her son Maddox, whom she adopted in Cambodia in 2002, has an executive producer credit on the movie.
Jolie produces with Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh whose 2013 The Missing Picture was nominated in the Foreign Language race. That film was an autobiographical documentary — told entirely with clay figures — about Panh’s experiences growing up under the Khmer Rouge.
Panh said today, “I am very happy, and very proud, that First They Killed My Father was selected by the Cambodia Oscar Selection Committee to represent Cambodia. Because the film is original and powerful. Because thousands of us participated in the film’s making and so, too, in writing a chapter of Cambodia’s collective history. And because this history doesn’t belong only to the Cambodia people; it is universal. Cinema also is a way to talk about the resilience and dignity of human beings.”
While there isn’t a clear line on the nationalities or places of birth of directors of the roughly 1,800 films entered in the Foreign Language category since 1956, one other U.S.-born helmer stands out: Rama Burshtein was behind the 2012 Israeli submission, Fill The Void.
Since the 1984 (57th) Awards, the rules for the category have stipulated that a submitting country “must certify that creative talent of that country exercised artistic control of the film.”
Now we just have to see if the Academy accepts it (committee meets first week of Oct to determine eligibility) https://t.co/Tx3FCBc5Gm— Andrea Mandell (@AndreaMandell) September 18, 2017
Cambodia enters FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER for the Oscars, setting up that dream Angelina Jolie-Michael Haneke duel we've been waiting for.— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) September 18, 2017
Of course Guy is being sarcastic, he often is, but he isn't being critical.
Posted by FussyKitty at 2:45 AM
Sunday, September 17, 2017
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh — The Latest on the violence in Myanmar and the exodus of Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh (all times local):
Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has condemned the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and called on the country's government and its leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, to no longer remain silent.
Jolie on Sunday told weekly Welt am Sonntag: "It's absolutely clear that the violence by the army needs to stop and that the return of the refugees has to be permitted — and that the Rohingya should be given civil rights."
Jolie added: "We all wish that Aung San Suu Kyi will in this situation be the voice of human rights."
Suu Kyi has been harshly criticized for not condemning the violence.
Rohingya have faced decades of persecution by the majority Buddhist population in Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship. The current crisis that has led more than 400,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh in the past three weeks.
Sunday surprise! ❤️the most gorgeous Angelina Jolie in vintage from @cannonballandtilly #vintage #angelinajolie #styleicon #hollywood #hollywoodglamourA post shared by Cannonball and Tilly Vintage (@cannonballandtilly) on
Saturday, September 16, 2017
L.A. Saturday, Sept. 16
Fascinating panel with Angelina Jolie, Loung Ung + Rithy Panh after a screening of First They Killed My Father. Such a moving film. @netflix pic.twitter.com/1Z71zN12vu— Jo Ling Kent (@jolingkent) September 17, 2017
Standing ovation 4 First They Killed My Father. Jolie, Panh & Ung discuss the films importance. Cambodia needs this history remembered. #SAG pic.twitter.com/Isc32ebsYA— Derek Benton (@BenDerekton) September 17, 2017
So #surreal Angelina Jolie in the flesh #firsttheykilledmyfather #moviescreening #amazing #film #moviestar #hollywood #starstruck #AngelinaJolie #sobeautiful 😱😍A post shared by Olive D (@olived212) on
#AngelinaJolie is pictured at the #FirstTheyKilledMyFather Q&A Session in #LosAngeles, #CA on September 16, 2017. There are more photos on my #Facebook page - link in bio 😊A post shared by Angelina Jolie / Angie ❤️ (@angelinaj1975) on
@HighSierraMan Gr8 chance 2 remind everyone that Angelina Jolie's By the Sea was terrific, deep, accomplished film: https://t.co/DbXboKccBz— Steven Gaydos (@HighSierraMan) September 17, 2017
I don't get to say this often so here goes: About to chat w Angelina Jolie. If u have Netflix, u #MustSee "First They Killed My Father."— Steven Gaydos (@HighSierraMan) September 17, 2017
Just watched Angelina Jolie's 'First They Killed My Father'. Really recommend. https://t.co/311cqn4xE3— Mikko Takkunen (@photojournalism) September 17, 2017
Note to self: Wear your best Paul Smith when moderating a q&a with Angelina Jolie because she will show up looking like legitimate GODDESS— Gregory Ellwood (@TheGregoryE) September 17, 2017
When you've just come back from 2 festivals, feel like you've gained 10 pds and have to try to look 🔥 to moderate a q&a with Angelina Jolie— Gregory Ellwood (@TheGregoryE) September 16, 2017
A post shared by FloralArtistry | Deco | Rental (@angkoriandesign) on
After watching "first the killed my father" last night, Angelina Jolie came through the temple without any bodyguards today 🙌🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/74RwF6aKtD— ooysterr (@ooysterr) September 16, 2017
Gripping film and backstory 'This Is Their Film': Angelina #Jolie Tells A Story Of #Khmer Rouge Survival https://t.co/rwnlbgOo0R— Lachlan Carmichael (@Lachlan1959) September 16, 2017
This story needs to be told. First They Killed My Father is now streaming. https://t.co/3KVmbCVq99— Netflix Canada (@Netflix_CA) September 16, 2017
Friday, September 15, 2017
MiNDFOOD speaks with Angelina Jolie and writer, Loung Ung, about the importance of family in their new Netflix film, 'First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers'
Angelina Jolie reveals what will make you emotional in her new movie 'First They Killed My Father' >> https://t.co/AYhqiaaPd6 pic.twitter.com/hjfWMVLLl9— MTV UK (@MTVUK) September 16, 2017
Angelina Jolie- Jon Voight Reunion A Byproduct of Family Loss and Redemption in Her Excellent New Film
by Roger Friedman -
Jon Voight is certainly back in daughter Angelina Jolie’s inner circle. He came with her and the kids to the NY premiere last night of her extraordinary new film, “First They Killed My Father.” (And second, they made up with him. Par umpum!)
Hard to imagine how this whole rapprochement works since Jolie and Voight are further apart on the political scale than Patti Davis was from her parents, Ronald and Nancy Reagan. But maybe it’s a lesson to a lot of families split by the current political climate. Blood is thicker than water. The lesson of family is the underscore for “First They Killed My Father.”
Certainly we learn that from Jolie’s film, which would be hailed as a “masterpiece” if it had been made by Spielberg or Eastwood. “First They Killed My Father” should put Angelina right in the ranks of the top directors– it’s an astounding achievement on a grand level and really deserves a Best Picture nomination.
It’s on the level of one of Eastwood’s best films, “Letters from Iwo Jima.” There is no English spoken. Much of the movie is Cambodian or Vietnamese. A good deal of it is without dialogue as child star Sareum Srey Moch navigates holy hell as the Khmer Rouge threaten to obliterate her country. All the children are exceptional, and you can tell that they really responded to Jolie. The really extraordinary move Jolie makes as a director here is that she has no adults, and no “Stars”– there is no ‘draw’ of a name. You don’t suddenly see a Movie Star show up as guide through the film. That’s how confident she is.
The film is based on a book Jolie bought for $2 the first time she went to Cambodia 17 years ago. “First They Killed My Father” is written by Loung Ung (played by young Moch). Loung came to the Toronto Film Festival and to last night’s NY premiere with one of her brothers, also portrayed in the film. They are a shining example of why immigration is so important. After the harrowing true events of the movie they came to the US and grew up in Cleveland. They are all incredibly accomplished, great successes. More importantly, they are alive and well. Meeting them takes your breath away.
The reunion with Jon Voight certainly comes from the lessons of the film. The whole point of the film– far more than the political– is the fabric of Loung’s family knitting back together. It’s a metaphor for Jolie’s life.
See this movie. And let’s hope it does well enough that brings awards and recognition for Jolie as a filmmaker at last. She deserves it.
The People interview likely took place before Telluride since there is no mention of the film's reception.
"I'm going to really go for it this year. I'm going to have a crazy Halloween party and see if I can rock the neighborhood."- Natalie Portman and David Fincher both live in Laughlin Park, so we can look forward to perhaps learning just how they rocked the neighborhood. It's another difference between living in the DeMille and Hollywood Hills.
I think they're itching to get out in the world again and have an adventure. If they want a lot of adventures, I think we'll get out there and play together. We've all been a bit in lockdown and going through some things, so I think it would be good for all of us.- She and the children have already spent part of the past few months out in the world, playing together and having adventures in Siem Reap, London, Namibia, Telluride, Toronto and New York. The "lockdown" is effectively just Brad not being seen with any of them. The "itch" is to finally get out in the world and play together with him. He would be itching the most. Between this and their plans for Halloween, you get a sense that they really can't wait to publicly break loose and be free. It should happen some time before Halloween.
- Since she declined to discuss the split and People could only repeat what her lawyer said at the time that it was "for the health of the family," the writers gave their interpretation of her reticence and emotion: "But it's clear that the wounds from the acrimonious split are still fresh." They went beyond her quotes to speculate on what she refused to comment on: "rumors of a reconciliation are improbable." Mary Green evidently does not (yet) have their story and the (semi) exclusive People was sitting on was this interview.
- Now that her talent as a director has been widely acknowledged, if her next film is also a success, it will no longer be a "surprising" triumph but just her latest triumph. Even after Tellurides's executive director, Julie Huntsinger -- dubbed "the most low-key kingmaker in the business" whose festival "virtually mints Academy Awards" -- singled out FTKMF, there was reason to be cautious. Huntsinger acknowledged that the film would be met with pre-conceived bias just because of who the director was. So while quite a few movie writers have remarked that another name on the marquee would have allowed the film to garner more and stronger accolades, I am very impressed with what it already has so far.
It's been 8 years since I've done an action movie, so my kids really don't know me like that. They have asked that I consider one, and they've offered to train me. Knox the other day goes 'Mom, I can train you, I can help you run. Do push ups.She previously told Baz Bamigboye:
They like the idea of going to London, so we are looking at the possibility of maybe doing Maleficent 2, perhaps in January.
'They do like the idea of Mum doing something with action. They want Mum to get herself together, and do some kick-ass. It's been a while. My last action film was eight years ago,
- Maleficent has fairy powers so it would be interesting to see how they weave that and kick ass action. Knox, a big Star Wars fan, would probably love to see her in a similar adventure.
- She and Luong said in one of their red carpet interviews that they love watching scary movies. Since Universal has not yet announced who will replace her in Bride of Frankenstein, I wonder if there was an interest in making it scarier, leaning more on the horror side than The Mummy which was more of an action-adventure.
- It would also be interesting to see when her Harper's Bazaar Namibian spread finally hits and what the write up will say since it's apparently not in support of FTKMF.
Sometimes I just like to hide behind the camera... I feel safe there 😱 🎥 interview with #AngelinaJolie and fellow … https://t.co/S7nJQ1i7EG pic.twitter.com/IUOp5u8hIs— Ignacio Torres (@igstorres) September 16, 2017
Angelina Jolie wants 'love and family' to come out of her new film on Cambodia's brutal past. #FirstTheyKilledMyFather pic.twitter.com/zQArz1gFsM— Nightline (@Nightline) September 16, 2017
Tonight on @Nightline our interview with Angelina Jolie and the masterminds behind he upcoming @netflix film #FirstTheyKilledMyFather pic.twitter.com/bpoZQnR7yl— Ignacio Torres (@igstorres) September 15, 2017
See Angelina Jolie, Loung Ung & Rithy Panh at Saturday's 'First They Killed My Father' screening at the Landmark https://t.co/K0mpev95YX #ad pic.twitter.com/nlW5vBORjt— Variety (@Variety) September 15, 2017
Metacritic score 73
Rotten Tomatoes score 88
SO happy for Angelina Jolie that her directorial work is deservedly getting such good notice. https://t.co/AETs2wIvMc— Justine Bateman (@JustineBateman) September 16, 2017
'First They Killed My Father': A surprising, devastating triumph, says @davidlsims: https://t.co/FzwKbHPlyb pic.twitter.com/gOoO6b4tTI— The Atlantic (@TheAtlantic) September 16, 2017
Posted by FussyKitty at 7:24 PM
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Zahara with Knox & Vivienne in New York on September 13, 2017 #AngelinaJolie #BradPitt #ZaharaJoliePitt #KnoxJoliePitt #VivienneJoliePittA post shared by Angelina, Brad / JP Kids (@joliepittdaily) on
Zahara with Knox & Vivienne in New York on September 13, 2017 #AngelinaJolie #BradPitt #ZaharaJoliePitt #KnoxJoliePitt #VivienneJoliePittA post shared by Angelina, Brad / JP Kids (@joliepittdaily) on
Zahara and Vivienne checking out Columbus Circle
WATCH: Angelina Jolie on her new passion project; star steps back behind the camera for latest film: https://t.co/jGJ0mfxdGD - @JujuChangABC pic.twitter.com/GzsB6Xfs7M— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 15, 2017
Angelina Jolie talks #ExpressiveAsians controversy at '#FirstTheyKilledMyFather' premiere https://t.co/NHPGWDGA5r pic.twitter.com/yw86eOSGoy— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 15, 2017
The Netflix drama, out Friday, features an all-Asian cast mostly composed of nonprofessionals.
After a casting director was anonymously quoted last week as saying that “Asians are a challenge to cast because most casting directors feel as though they’re not very expressive,” the hashtag #ExpressiveAsians took over Twitter as users shared their outrage on the comment.
But on Thursday night, this was all new information to Angelina Jolie, whose latest directorial drama First They Killed My Father features a cast composed solely of Asian actors, many of whom are nonprofessionals and appear onscreen for the first time.
“Who said that? What’s wrong with them?” she told The Hollywood Reporter, dropping her jaw in surprise. “I hadn’t heard that, but it just sounds completely ignorant. Wow, it’s just insane.”
When asked about what the controversy’s naysayers could learn from Jolie’s Netflix title, she explained, “I hope people see this film and they do recognize the great artists that made this film and the extraordinary performances. … I hope they recognize the talent from Southeast Asia. All artists express in different ways — I find all people to be artistic and expressive — and I find Cambodian people extremely creative and expressive!"
Adapted from Loung Ung’s memoir, First They Killed My Father recounts Ung’s harrowing survival story under the Khmer Rouge regime, as her hometown was overtaken, her family was separated and she was forced to become a child soldier. The genocide included the deaths of one-quarter of the country's population.
“Cambodia is a very special country — I hope when you see this, you do understand what they’ve gone through but you also not only see the hardships, you see the resilience of these extraordinary people,” Jolie told attendees after an introduction from Netflix film chief Scott Stuber. To Ung, she said, “Thank you for allowing us to tell your family’s story.”
The intimate New York City event, held just hours before the historical drama became available on Netflix, was a joyous family affair. Jolie, wearing a pleated taupe Dior Haute Couture gown that showcased her arm and back tattoos, gathered her six children and the film’s cast for photos before the film was shown at the Directors Guild Theatre. Ung’s four sibling survivors also attended the screening, which was followed by a bash at the restaurant Jams inside 1 Hotel Central Park.
I continue to be in awe of Angelina Jolie. Her new film FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER is raw, powerful, necessary and on @netflix today. https://t.co/Ogrz779T7h— Jenelle Riley (@jenelleriley) September 15, 2017
Angelina Jolie swapped out her stunning strapless dress for a cool trench by Elisabetta Franchi last in NYC. https://t.co/vmHUh6laWh— Vogue Magazine (@voguemagazine) September 16, 2017
On the red carpet, she donned a strapless purple Dior Haute Couture gown, completely showing off her giant back tattoo expansion for the first time at a formal event. For the post-screen soiree, Jolie changed into a white trench dress and grey heels. She kept her signature red lip. Her sons looked dapper in matching black suits.Angelina Jolie hit her film's after party with her sons Maddox and Pax! https://t.co/UDpvP5NTzy pic.twitter.com/shTy9jTwwm— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) September 15, 2017
"It is lovely to be in this moment together because our friendship goes back so long," Jolie told ET at the premiere. "We were joking on the way here, we were laughing because we're both in heels and trying to fix each other's dresses and when we met, we were in a soaking wet monsoon in our boots and we were a little more comfortable. Now we're kind of laughing about it."
She’s also very proud of Maddox’s involvement with the film. Watch the exclusive interview below to see her take on him as an executive producer:
She’s also very proud of Maddox’s involvement with the film. Watch the exclusive interview below to see her take on him as an executive producer:
after party, NY Sept. 14
at Jams inside 1 Hotel Central Park
Thank you so much for bringing Cambodia to World #proudtobepartofthefilm #firsttheykilledmyfather #newyorkcity #🇺🇸A post shared by TILY (@anostalgicmemory) on