Angelina Jolie First They Killed My Father Loung Ung

Angelina Jolie’s films have never shied away from tough subject matter. The actress turned director’s films have always focused on conflict, from Unbroken’s exploration of life in World War II POW camps to By the Sea’s marital drama. But for her latest project, Jolie got personal: With First They Killed My Father she tackles the story of human rights activist Loung Ung’s childhood in Cambodia during Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime. Tasked with both accurately depicting the realities of life in a war-torn nation during one of history’s most brutal genocides and respectfully portraying a close friend, Jolie knew she had to be mindful of each choice she made onscreen. “Because of my love for her and her family I really wanted this to be just right,” she shared at last night’s New York premiere at the DGA Theater. “When you have a friend that looks at you and says, ‘Hey, it’s okay—I know you can’t fail,’ it makes all the difference.”

Jolie and Ung’s friendship informed the filmmaking process. With Ung serving as producer and screenwriter she was involved every step of the way, and her faith in Jolie’s talents helped make the process a pleasurable one. “For me, it was a blessing to work with someone who I love and trust,” says Ung, whose 2000 autobiography served as the source material. “Not only are we friends but Angelina is a great filmmaker. I have great faith in her as an artist, humanitarian, mother, and as a woman.” For Jolie the feeling is mutual. “Loung is somebody who has been a hero of mine,” she says. “The way she has lived her life, the way she walks through life and everything she represents—she is a person who I think we need to learn from. That is why I selfishly want her in my life and around my children.”

Arriving on the red carpet arm in arm with matching Cambodian Khmer flowers in their hair, Ung and Jolie were joined by their children and the younger members of the cast, including 9-year-old star Sareum Srey Moch, who provides a nuanced performance that belies her age. With Shiloh, Zahara, Pax, Knox, Vivienne, and Maddox (who serves as one of the film’s executive producers) all on hand, the entire Jolie-Pitt brood was present. Thanks to the upbeat energy from all the kids and the enthusiastic reaction from the audience who cheered through the entirety of the credits, the mood of the evening was uplifting despite the film’s serious subject matter. For Jolie, that spirit of levity can be credited to Ung, who gave the film its inspiring story and provided Jolie with a truly game collaborator. “It’s good to be able to do something where you can create, but to also be able to really laugh and love and be silly is great.”

Source

READ ---  NASA astronaut to bike across Amazon in climate change film