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Angelina Jolie’s Intense ‘First They Killed My Father’ Gets First Trailer

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Angelina Jolie’s shift from full-time actress to full-time director continues with First They Killed My Father, her upcoming drama about the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia. Jolie has appeared in just three live-action films in the 2010s (one of which, By the Sea, she also directed). First They Killed My Father will be her fourth film as a director in that same stretch of time, after By the Sea, Unbroken, and In the Land of Blood and Honey.

The trailer above comes from Netflix, a little over a month before the film debuts at the Toronto International Film Festival and then quickly appears on the streaming site. The film is based on a non-fiction book by Loung Ung, a survivor of this horrific era in Cambodian history; Ung also co-wrote First They Killed My Father’s screenplay with Jolie. The only plot description provided by Netflix reads “A daughter of Cambodia remembers so the world may never forget.” (A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers was the subtitle of Ung’s book.)

Jolie recently garnered a bit of online controversy when her audition process for the film, which involved playing a scenario with the child actors up for the lead role where she would take money from them and then force them come up with a lie about where they got it from. In a statement, Jolie defended her process, calling it “a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film” and that she would be “outraged” if what she was being accused of doing (i.e. inflicting mental pain on children) had actually taken place. Not exactly the greatest start to a PR campaign ever, but we’ll see where it goes from here! First They Killed My Father debuts on Netflix on September 15, days after it plays at TIFF.

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