In her career as a director, Angelina Jolie has made a habit of taking stories about the more personal side of warfare, and turning them into captivating films. Now, in the spirit of In The Land of Blood and Honey and Unbroken, Jolie has turned her directorial eye to the true life story of Loung Ung, a Cambodian woman who lived her childhood through the rise and fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Take a look at First They Killed My Father in the film's first trailer below.
Based on her memoir of the same name, First They Killed My Father follows Ung's life story, as she and her family fled capture by the invading movement led by Pol Pot, bent on exterminating the privileged and rewriting history from their imposed "year zero". Part of that story, and a good portion of the trailer above, focuses on Loung Ung's training as a child soldier during that four year period, as well as the memories that she clung to from her life before.
Knowing Angelina Jolie's track record for personal stories of survival in wartime, First They Killed My Father feels like it's going to be much more punishing than the trailer suggests. That being said, the short look at the latest Netflix original film is pretty intense to begin with. Using repetitive patterns of action and sound effects, the trailer builds the tension in Ung's story to a point where it's not only an effective way to sell a film, it's an experience that promises to be as enlightening as it is uplifting.
While most people don't talk about the Khmer Rouge era that started during the tail end of the Vietnam war, there are still plenty that remember the experience first hand. Their experiences helped Jolie co-write and direct First They Killed My Father with a presumably high degree of intensity, as she not only cast actors who fluently spoke Khmer, but she also consulted many of the survivors of the period to tell the story as accurately as she could. On top of that, she also co-wrote the film's script with Loung Ung herself.
With both her knack for research and preparation, as well as her penchant for turning the harshness of war into truly cinematic images, Angelina Jolie's First They Killed My Father looks like it's going to rival Beasts Of No Nation as Netflix's most intense war film yet. We'll get to see what her latest directorial efforts have yielded when First They Killed My Father premieres on Netflix September 15th. If you'd like to see what else Netflix has coming up, take a look at the full Netflix premiere schedule.
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