After Brad Pitt, now Netflix and Angelina Jolie have united to direct First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. The movie is a war drama adaptation based on Cambodian human-rights activist Loung Ung. Netflix confirmed the news last week.
A heavy subject
The film will be co-produced by Jolie and Rithy Panh, who is famous for directing the Oscar-nominated The Missing Picture. The film will depict the childhood experience of Loung Ung during the reign of Khmer Rouge, an oppressive government. The movie will be available to viewers in late 2016 on Netflix and will also be shown at various film festivals. It will be released in English and Khmer.
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Jolie, actress-cum-director, says the biography has helped her gain insight on how children see the war. The film also deepened her connection with Cambodia, which is also the birthplace of her son Maddox.
“Films like this are hard to watch, but important to see,” Jolie said in a statement. “They are also hard to get made. Netflix is making this possible, and I am looking forward to working with them and excited that the film will reach so many people.”
The book First They Killed My Father, which was published in 2000, portrays the four-year rule of terror and genocide experienced by Ung. During the period, she was trained as a child soldier and taken away from her family. About a decade ago, Jolie became friends with Ung after reading the book. Jolie and Ung came together to write the screenplay for the the movie adaptation.
Netflix originals lined up
Jolie has displayed her film-making affinity by making weighty dramas earlier. Her directorial debut feature film, In the Land of Blood and Honey, was based on the Bosnian War. Unbroken, her second offering, was the story of Olympian Louis Zamperini, the World War II POW survivor. By the Sea, her third venture, which stars Jolie and her husband Brad Pitt, is expected to hit theaters later this year.
Pitt also had a deal with Netflix to produce and star in the streaming firm’s original film War Machine. Apart from these, other Netflix originals are in the works, including Beasts of No Nation, which was directed by Cary Fukunaga and stars Idris Elba is the first original film from Netflix. The film will premiere on Oct. 16, while the next one lined up for release is Adam Sandler’s Ridiculous Six on Dec 11. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend will debut in the first quarter of next year, while Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, a Pee-wee Herman movie, will be released in March.