Angelina Jolie is in Cambodia to promote her new movie, “First They Killed My Father,” and held a press conference to discuss her latest directorial effort, which examines the brutality of the Khmer Rouge during the 1970s.
Speaking at a press conference in Siem Reap on Saturday, Jolie told reporters that she hopes the film — based on Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung’s memoir “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers” — will serve to “remind everybody that there are little Loungs all around the world today” in war-torn regions throughout the globe.
“Her story is their story and so this is, in many ways, universal and we hope that that is something that you think about as well,” she said.
Despite the dark nature of the story, Jolie also discussed her hopes for the movie when it comes to native Cambodians. “I hope that the young people, when they see this film, that yes, they will learn part of their history, but I hope they also see — I hope all of you see — that this is a country of talent and art and love and beauty,” she said.
Jolie, who directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Ung, enlisted adopted Cambodian son Maddox, 15, to work on the movie, noting that he’s proud of his heritage and he and her other children view Cambodia as their “second home.”
“The children are very close to the children who are in the film and, in fact, many of them are best friends,” she said. “So, they’re simply happy to be back with their friends. Maddox is happy to be back in his country.”
“First They Killed My Father” premieres in Siem Reap on Saturday night; the film will be available to stream on Netflix later this year.