Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Here is the first trailer for the Toronto International Film Festival-bound Angelina Jolie-directed First They Killed My Father, a harrowing Netflix drama about young Cambodian girl Loung Ung as she and her family struggled to survive the brutal genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime that murdered one-quarter of the population after the United States withdrew from Vietnam. Jolie wrote the script with Ung, and produced it with Cambodian-born documentary filmmaker Rithy Panh. While recent headlines focused on an improvisational exercise used during the casting of local children — Jolie and Panh heatedly disputed the version of events depicted in Vanity Fair — the film is actually a tremendous accomplishment. It is a grand scale period epic shot entirely in Cambodia, using local cast and shot in Khmer language by Jolie, whose long love affair with the country began while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Panh told Deadline in a lengthy statement that these factors helped make First They Killed My Father a cathartic step forward in processing a traumatic national tragedy, one made relatable by its vantage point: the eyes of a child struggling to survive while processing unimaginable trauma and violence all around her.

Here is Panh’s translated statement: “This film is important to the people of Cambodia because it is the first time that one of the most crucial periods of our history has been told on such a major scale and shot in our country and in our Khmer language. This is all thanks to the strength of character of Angelina Jolie, who was able to convince, bring together, and unite the talent and energy of the actors, technicians, workers, and all the other people involved in the film, in order to present the historical facts as accurately as possible, in a way that respects our memory. A film is a viewpoint, a personal narrative; it does not answer all the questions, but it contributes to a dialogue and to the passing on of knowledge from one generation to the next.
“This film has also been an opportunity for us to show that, 40 years after the disaster and the destruction of the lifeblood of our country, we have been able to rebuild a vibrant and competitive film industry, which is capable of creating, organizing, designing, and producing a film that carries our story across borders and across the whole world.
It is an homage to those who were lost. They did not die in vain, and the world will not forget them.
Many Cambodians cried when they watched the film. Cinematic fiction incorporates individual stories, and finds a particular resonance with each individual’s story. Looking through the eyes of others enables us to confront our own history, to recognize ourselves in that history, to regain our dignity, and to reconcile ourselves with irreparable loss.”

Yahoo Movies

Made in collaboration with Ung (who co-wrote the script with Jolie) and Rithy Panh (a Cambodian filmmaker, here working as a producer), and with a cast that includes a combination of professional actors and amateur child performers, First They Kill My Father figures to be a hot-button awards contender this fall. You can see the film — which is first premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival — exclusively on Netflix on Sept. 15.


  1. ‘First They Killed My Father’ Trailer: The Harrowing Memoir is Brought to Netflix By Angelina Jolie
    Angelina Jolie is continuing her rise as a prestigious director with First They Killed My Father, the harrowing true story of a Cambodian girl who is forced to become a child soldier under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.Based on the memoir of the same name, First They Killed My Father is about Loung Ung, who also penned the screenplay for the film along with Jolie. The film is being released by Netflix, but will also premiere in theaters.The First They Killed My Father trailer follows Loung Ung as her carefree life as the daughter of a high-ranking government official is brutally interrupted by the invasion of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army into Phnom Penh in April 1975. Her family flees and separates from each other in order to survive, but not before Ung’s father is killed. Separated from her siblings, Ung becomes a child soldier at a work camp.
    I haven’t read First They Killed My Father, but the trailer looks absolutely harrowing, and hones in on a conflict that I and the American viewing public know little about. I’m glad that Netflix is taking on these kinds of films, and casting unknown actors of Cambodian descent in the roles. Jolie is commendable for taking on these kinds of projects. She’s shown a keen eye for powerful stories of all stripes and colors, and is on her way to becoming one of the most interesting actors-turned-directors working at the moment. Her last film By The Sea, starring herself and her ex-husband Brad Pitt, met with tepid reviews, but she showed a lot of promise in her previous film, 2014’s Unbroken. First They Killed My Father will premiere Friday, September 15 in select theaters and globally on Netflix.

  2. Angelina Jolie hits Netflix with her Khmer Rouge drama 'First They Killed My Father'
    Angelina Jolie's new movie looks like a tough watch. Not because it looks bad, mind you, but because the subject matter is so harrowing.

    First They Killed My Father, which Jolie directed, is based on the memoir by Loung Ung about growing up in Cambodia during the Pol Pot regime.

    And Jolie isn't looking away from the horrors. The trailer shows a happy childhood interrupted by war and persecution. Luong Ung herself (played by Srey Moch in the film) is forced to become a child soldier.

    It's a story that's not discussed much here in the U.S., but here's hoping Jolie's work (and famous name) can help draw some eyeballs to a dark chapter in the world's history.

    First They Killed My Father is in theaters September 14.

  3. From Africa to Asia: Inside Angelina Jolie and Her Children's Charity Work Around the World

    Angelina Jolie's career-long commitment to charity, continued role as a UNHCR Special Envoy and her love of traveling the globe are passions she's passed onto her children.

    This July, Jolie and Shiloh traveled to Namibia to open the latter's namesake Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary, which cares for elephants and rhinos that have fallen victim to poaching or abuse, is located at the N/a'an ku sê Foundation in the African country. The 11-year-old was actually born in the country."Her face lit up when she saw the sanctuary for the first time," a source told PEOPLE of Shiloh's special visit in July. "The name was a surprise to her and she was beaming. She and her brothers and sisters moved around very quietly as the newly rescued elephants were still settling in."

    During their five-day stay, Jolie and Shiloh met with N/a’an ku sê founder Rudie and Marlice van Vuuren (whom the actress has known for 16 years) and got hands-on experience working with the wild animals, including some cheetahs.

    During Jolie's trip to Cambodia in February, her entire brood attended the world premiere of First They Killed My Father in Siem Reap.

    The country's King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk were in attendance at the premiere, along with a host of other senior government officials. Jolie and the children posed for a photo with the royal family at the premiere.

    Her sons Maddox – who was born in Cambodia – and Pax were both involved in the production of the film, which included only local actors.

    During the screening, Maddox even stepped up to the mic, telling the crowd of Hollywood stars and local dignitaries, "Thank you everyone for attending tonight. We finally made it. It’s a great honor to present this film to all of you, and to stand by my mother and my family."While in Cambodia this past February for Jolie's project First They Killed My Father, the actress introduced her children – and the BBC’s Yalda Hakim – to some interesting local cuisine: bugs.

    The family dined on spiders and scorpions, with Jolie telling twins Knox and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, both now 9, "See the hard part where you have the teeth? Take the fangs out."

    After throwing the insects in a skillet, Jolie revealed that she'd previously eaten crickets while in Cambodia.

    "You start with crickets. Crickets and a beer, and then you kind of move up to tarantulas."

  4. It has been announced First They Killed My Father is in theaters from September 14th too day before its on Netflix.