Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie Pitt is set to direct First They Killed My Father based on Loung Ung’s memoir First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. Jolie Pitt and Ung adapted Ung’s book, with Jolie Pitt also producing the dramatic film along with Rithy Panh. According to the official announcement, Jolie Pitt’s son Maddox, who was born in Cambodia, will also be involved in the film.
The project is a Netflix Original Film and is expected to air on the streaming service late next year.
“I was deeply affected by Loung’s book,” stated 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.”
“Angelina and I met in 2001 in Cambodia, and immediately, I trusted Angelina’s heart,” stated Ung. “Through the years, we have become close friends, and my admiration for Angelina as a woman, a mother, a filmmaker, and a humanitarian has only grown. It is with great honor that I entrust my family’s story to Angelina to adapt into a film.”
Commenting on her partnership with Netflix, Jolie Pitt said, “Films like this are hard to watch but important to see. 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 First They Killed My Father Story:
Loung Ung was five years old when the Khmer Rouge assumed power over Cambodia in 1975 and began a four-year reign of terror and genocide in which nearly two million Cambodians died. Forced from her family’s home in Phnom Penh, Ung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her six siblings were sent to labor camps. Ung survived and wrote First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, which was first published in 2000.