Written by on Jul 24, 2015. Posted in On Location

Angelina Jolie Pitt to film true-life Khmer Rouge drama in Cambodia

Angelina Jolie Pitt will direct First They Killed My Father in Cambodia later this year. The film is based on the childhood experiences of Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung, who was five years old when the brutal Khmer Rouge regime seized power in 1975.

The Khmer Rouge regime perpetrated genocide in Cambodia in the late 70s under the leadership of infamous dictator Pol Pot. Up to three million Cambodians were killed over a four-year period.

Ung was forced to become a child soldier when the regime first took over. She survived the experience and wrote a memoir entitled First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.

Jolie Pitt has adapted the memoir into a screenplay with the help of Ung. She has her own personal connection to Cambodia. Her adopted son Maddox was born in the country and will also be involved with the Cambodian shoot.

“I was deeply affected by Loung’s book,” said Jolie Pitt: “It deepened forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it. And it helped me draw closer still to the people of Cambodia, my son‘s homeland.

“It is a dream come true to be able to adapt this book for the screen, and I’m honoured to work alongside Loung and filmmaker Rithy Panh.”

A handful of high-profile productions have filmed in Cambodia over the past decade or so. Among them has been Jolie Pitt’s own action drama Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001, which was where the star’s connection with the country began.

In the past couple of years Jolie Pitt has directed the true-life Second World War story Unbroken on location in Australia. She is currently in post-production on the marriage drama By the Sea, which co-stars her husband Brad Pitt.

(Image: Universal)


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