Angelina Jolie Dives into the Khmer Rouge with ‘First They Killed My Father’ Trailer

     August 2, 2017

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Netflix has released the First They Killed My Father trailer. Directed by Angelina Jolie, the film is based on the memoir of Loung Ung, who survived deadly Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1978 as a child.

Looking at this trailer, the movie looks like it’s very much in the vein of Netflix’s first big drama, Beasts of No Nation, with a horrific story being told through the eyes of a child soldier who’s forced to witness and participate in atrocities. However, whereas director Cary Fukunaga knew how to balance his story and never make it feel exploitative, I have my reservations about Jolie. When it came time for her to helm Unbroken, she focused squarely on the suffering of Louis Zamperini, opting for torture scene after torture scene and then leaving the real pathos—Zamperini’s quest to forgive his captors—for a title card before the credits. For Jolie, it seems like suffering is pathos, and I’m worried that without any insight, it could make First They Killed My Father a grueling but empty experience.

Check out the First They Killed My Father trailer below. The film will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival before hitting Netflix on September 15th.

Here’s the official synopsis for First They Killed My Father:

The Netflix original film First They Killed My Father will launch on Friday, September 15 in theaters and globally on Netflix.  Directed by Angelina Jolie, First They Killed My Father is the adaptation of Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung’s gripping memoir of surviving the deadly Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1978. The story is told through her eyes, from the age of five, when the Khmer Rouge came to power, to nine years old. The film depicts the indomitable spirit and devotion of Loung and her family as they struggle to stay together during the Khmer Rouge years.

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