Angelina Jolie is officially on Instagram. Her first post to the social media platform puts a spotlight on what’s happening in Afghanistan.
A source close to Jolie tells ET, “Angie felt compelled to join in a moment when women and young people in Afghanistan are losing the ability to communicate on social media and express themselves freely. From her point of view, if she’s able to be a part of the effort to amplify their voices, then she felt it was reason enough to join and use her platform.”
Jolie shared a letter from a teenage girl in Afghanistan in her first official Instagram post.
“It is sickening to watch Afghans being displaced yet again out of the fear and uncertainty that has gripped their country,” she writes in part. “To spend so much time and money, to have blood shed and lives lost only to come to this, is a failure almost impossible to understand. Watching for decades how Afghan refugees — some of the most capable people in the world — are treated like a burden is also sickening. Knowing that if they had the tools and respect, how much they would do for themselves. And meeting so many women and girls who not only wanted an education, but fought for it.”
“Like others who are committed, I will not turn away,” she continues. “I will continue to look for ways to help. And I hope you’ll join me.”
After amassing 3.4 million followers in less than 24 hours, Jolie turned to her Instagram Stories to direct fans to the Time op-ed she wrote titled The People of Afghanistan Deserve So Much Better Than This.
“Giving up the idea of a peace agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban, appearing to cut and run, and abandoning our allies and supporters in the most chaotic way imaginable, after so many years of effort and sacrifice, is a betrayal and a failure impossible to fully understand,” Jolie wrote.
“I think of every Afghan girl who picked up her bookbag and went to school in the last twenty years even though she risked being killed for it,” she added, further naming Afghan women “who served as lawyers and judges and police officers”, teens “living in fear about the future” and “activists and journalists and artists who are in hiding.”
“After all the bloodshed and effort and sacrifice and time, America seems to have lacked the will to plan this transition in a managed way. It was never going to be easy or perfect but could have been better, more decent and safer,” Jolie continued. “As an American I am ashamed by the manner of our leaving. It diminishes us.”
She concluded, “Any future Afghan government should be judged not only on their attitude to terrorism, but on their behavior on human rights and—in particular—whether Afghan women and girls maintain the rights they have gained.”
As a special envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Jolie has lent her voice to several humanitarian efforts over the years, including domestic violence awareness and empowering underserved women, as well as saving the bees.
In July, the movie star and passionate philanthropist donned a protective beekeeper suit to celebrate the graduates of her Women for Bees project. Jolie celebrated and joined the graduated beekeepers, who were women chosen from different areas and went through a 30-day accelerated learning course, at the Observatoire Français d’Apidologie, in France.
ET spoke with Jolie in April ahead of the release of her film “Those Who Wish Me Dead”, where she opened up about going through a period in her own personal life where she felt broken, much like her character.
“We all have times in our lives where we feel broken, and I was in a period like that,” Jolie admitted to ET’s Nischelle Turner. “I’ve had my share of things that made me feel… you know, hard to speak too much about it, but just overwhelming or broken. So to have an opportunity, I feel very lucky. I wish all women could have this at times in their lives.”
“I’ve had this many times in my life. When my mom passed away [from cancer in 2007] I did want it, you know? It’s apart of something when you feel you just want to kind of hide under the covers or you’re not sure what you got left in you,” she continued. “You get an opportunity and I would encourage anybody to do it. You’re not a film actor, doesn’t matter. Go somewhere, see what you got in you. Put yourself against the elements, or try something you’ve never tried and kind of try to rediscover that strength within.”
Jolie also shared that it was the human side of the movie the drew her to the project.
“I am drawn to people who have been through something and are broken and then find their way forward and overcome it,” the actress shared in an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the thriller. “As an artist, it’s very healing to play people like that. She’s been very healing for me, because you just get so broken and then you stand back up.”
“On its surface, it feels like a great thriller, a great adventure across an unusual terrain inside a great fire,” she added. “Underneath it, it’s a really emotional film. It’s about people who have a great impact on each other and change each other. Emotionally and practically, they go through the fire.”
For more on the actress and activist, watch the video below.