Why You Need To Check Out Angelina Jolie’s New Film (And You’ll Never Guess Who She’s Directing It With…)

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • Spoiler alert: it's not Brad Pitt. It's BETTER than Brad Pitt.

    Honestly, we’re not sure what sounds more amazing. The idea of Angelina Jolie being your best friend, the idea of Angelina Jolie being your mum, or Angelina Jolie being your colleague.

    And just imagine (imagine) if she was all three.

    Which is why we’re pretty darn jealous of her 13-year-old son, Maddox, right now. Because Ange has roped him in to help direct her upcoming film, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter Of Cambodia Remembers – a true-life drama based on the memoirs of Cambodian author Loung Ung.

    In case you’re not totally up to date on your East Asian history, when Khmer Rouge took power in Cambodia in 1975, almost two million Cambodians died during the four-year reign of terror.

    Loung was forced to leave her family home in Phnom Penh and was trained as a child soldier, while her siblings were sent to labour camps.

    ‘I was deeply affected by Loung’s book,’ explains Angelina, who adds that the film is going to be released in English and Khmer – the Cambodian national language. ‘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 honored to work alongside Loung and filmmaker Rithy Panh.’

    ‘Films like this are hard to watch but important to see,’ Angelina adds. ‘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.’

    ‘Angelina and I met in 2001 in Cambodia, and immediately, I trusted [her] heart,’ says Loung. ‘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.’

    Reading now