Angelina Jolie will produce her next film focusing on the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Oscar nominated director and producer, Rithy Panh will coproduce the project.
Photo: Tom Stoddart / Getty Reportage
Speaking after visiting the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre in Phnom Penh, Angelina Jolie Pitt said:
“I am humbled and honored by the responsibility of bringing First They Killed My Father to the screen.
The film is based on the emotional memory of Loung Un from 5-8 years old. The film will be shot from the child’s perspective: it is a child’s view of war and a child’s understanding and point of view.
Because Loung was so young during this time, we will be working with the Bophana Center and other historians and speaking with many people who people who went through the war to make sure the events in the film are depicted correctly.
We will be spending the next few months scouting for locations, casting the film, but most importantly researching every event to make sure it is historically accurate and will pay respect not only to Loung Un and her family but to every single individual who suffered under the Khmer Rouge.
The book is a guide to one young girl’s story, and we will complete the story drawing on the experiences of other and adding them to the film. Through her story we will be telling many stories, so that the film is not just based on the memory of one child but on the collective memory of the people of Cambodia.
The intent of this project is not to revisit the horrors of the war but to bring to the screen characters that people around the world will identify with and empathize with and help to teach people about this country that I love and respect, and the Cambodian culture and family life I so admire.
We are in preparations from July on and will be shooting from November to the end of January. The film will be shot in-country with Cambodian cast and crew and in the Cambodian language. It will be made for and with Cambodians. I look forward to working with the Cambodian production team, Bophana Production, and all the great local artists, and I am excited by all that I know that they will bring to the project.
I wish for the world to be able to see what the Bophana Centre have built up and what they do. Their detailed work to restore the archives of the past and work with young people and volunteers to look forward to the future based on a shared purpose is inspiring, and I am honoured to work with Rithy Panh from whom I have so much to learn. I am also grateful for the support of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the Cambodia Film Commission.
I hope to be led by the people of Cambodia to tell their story in the best way possible. So I look forward to people coming forward to help me further understand what they feel it is important to tell.”