Angelina Jolie Gets Standing Ovation for ‘Cambodia’ Film at Telluride

Angelina Jolie

It was a filmmaking experience that changed her life as well as the lives of survivors, Angelina Jolie told Telluride Film Festival attendees who screened her new Netflix film, “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers,” which received a standing ovation. The audience affection seemed split between her movie and another labor of love, her children. Jolie attended the event with her entire brood of six: Maddox, 16; Pax, 13; Zahara, 12; Shiloh, 11 and twins Vivienne and Knox, 9.

The project, which Jolie directed and co-wrote, documents author Loung Ung’s experience as a child soldier under the horrific Khmer Rouge regime that seized control of Cambodia in 1975, brutalizing the people in a reign of terror and genocide.

The historical episode has special meaning for the Jolie family, since her son Maddox was adopted from a Cambodian orphanage in 2002. Jolie spoke movingly about her experience screening the film for Cambodian survivors, an effort that involved the cooperation of the king as well as the government.

“We ended up at Terrace of the Elephant in Angkor Wat,” Jolie said, “which is very special to the Cambodian people, screening outside, and it was extraordinary. It was so moving to see everybody watch. A lot of them said that night they were able to talk about it for the first time.” Jolie underscored the global power of film to move hearts and minds.

Relaxing onstage in a director’s chair alongside Ung after the screening, Jolie admitted that during a visit several years ago she was struck by how “ignorant” she was about what had happened in Cambodia. “I met people who had returned from the border camps, and was warned about land mines,” she recalled. “But most of all I met people whose spirits were high. They’re so generous. They’re so gracious. Their culture is so strong and I was so  impressed by them. And during that trip I picked up a $2 book on a street corner, and it was [Ung’s] book. It changed my life.”

“First They Killed My Father” is scheduled for a Sept. 15 premiere on Netflix.

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  1. Adam says:

    Surprise – It’s actually a good film!

    I liked it a lot. It has little dialogue and is very cinematic, which is great. That’s what was missing from her earlier films.

    Go see it yourself, then judge.

  2. Karen says:

    This cunt is a child abuser. And her movies does not have ANY reviews out! What lies!

  3. Charles says:

    There is a unique documentary worth seeing:
    “Enemies of the People” (2009) by the Cambodian journalist Thet Sambath.
    He interviewed Nuon Chea, one of the Khmer Rouge mass-murderers, for many years and made him confess, that he knew about the mass murders going on.
    It’s a fascinating film like no other on the Cambodian genocide.

  4. Toni says:

    We must listen to her. The most beautiful woman in the world. Knows everything.

  5. IT--II--IT says:

    Agent in place JOLIE and the crumbling –INTEL RUN– Hollywood franchise slum

  6. Keang says:

    I saw the preview of the movie by Angelina Jolie. Movies and films have been made about Cambodia of that time 1975-1979, but not really focusing on the children’s struggles. I am one of those war children. So I am grateful that she brought forth this story onto the screen. I would like to see the whole movie.

    • Charles says:

      I agree. It’s certainly not the first feature about the Cambodian genocide, but I don’t think there has ever been one told from a child’s POV. That’s a worthy addition. I hope it’s good. The trailer looks promising.

      • Hans says:

        It’s certainly the biggest production in the Khmer language with a cast of Cambodians about the genocide. The Cambodians simply don’t have this kind of budgets to tell this story, so Jolie does deserve credit for making it possible with her name.

  7. John says:

    Jolie: “A lot of them said that night they were able to talk about it for the first time.”

    Sorry, but this is such an unbelievable exaggeration, that it made me smile :-)

    The world didn’t wait for Angelina Jolie to teach us about the Cambodian genocide which occurred from 1975 until 1979. It’s good, that this tragic chapter of history becomes better known, at least to a modern and young audience, but this is not an innovative project: The Khmer Rouge genocide of the Cambodian people – which was actually political murder on a large scale, because the targets were only ‘elements of the old society’ – has been well documented, discussed and presented in science and art now.

    Most of co-producer Rithy Panh’s work is about the Cambodian genocide and he made the most impressive documentaries about it: “S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine” (2003), “Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell” (2011) and “The Missing Picture” (2013).

    Long before Panh, there was of course Roland Joffé’s “The Killing Fields” (1984), a powerful film, that still holds up today as a masterpiece of humanist filmmaking. Through that acclaimed film a mass audience in the Western World got to know what happened in Cambodia under the communist Khmer Rouge rule.

    And before that, there was a very influential British documentary with John Pilger called “Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia” (1979), which led to record donations for Cambodia and reached a TV audience of millions.

    I think it’s fair to say, that Jolie’s film – as well-made or well-intentioned it may be – won’t have the same impact or significance as these films had, because it comes too late.

    But it’s good that it exists. If it makes people care and think about genocide again, than it’s a worthy enterprise.

    But one important question must be asked:
    How is it that Hollywood ignored the Armenian Genocide for nearly 100 years and it took the private donation of Kirk Kerkorian to produce the first mass audience feature (Terry George’s “The Promise”) about it this year?

    Why do Hollywood stars feel closer to Cambodians than to their fellow Christians, of which 1.5 mill. were murdered by the Ottoman Turks ?

    “The Promise” – while well-intentioned and respectable – is not a good film in most ways that count: It has a bad screenplay, the editing is rushed, the F/X are mediocre, the directing is weak and the storytelling is more confusing than educational. And you simply can’t present what ‘genocide’ truly means in a PG-13 film. Without the good cast and some fine performances it would be an artistic disaster. It’s a shame, because this subject deserved to reach a mass audience through a strong film.
    The Armenian Genocide truly needs more and better representation in movies, especially since the modern Turkish state still denies what happened.

    What the world truly needs is a well-made, educational, artistically superior telling of the events in the Ottman Empire between 1915 and 1923, when Assyrian, Greek and Armenian citizens were systematically killed by their own government, only because they were part of the Christian minority, that was seen as a ‘risk’ by the Muslim rulers.

    If Ms. Jolie’s humanistic intentions are sincere and she really wants to make her life’s work about teaching on genocides (“In the Land of Blood and Honey” was her take on former Yugoslavia),
    then her art would be most welcome here, because Hollywood failed to represent the Armenian people and the Christians who suffered.

    I would be much more excited about such a project.

    • malcolm says:

      I`am not sure you got what she was saying ..she was(I think) talking about the reaction of the audience at the screening not about the reporting or depiction of the Cambodian genocide..

  8. Poster Michelle Thompson is a typical example of what’s wrong with today’s youth: ignorant, unable to think for themselves, lazy, living their lives on their phones, knowing absolutely nothing about world history. They are too fragile to function in the real world. If you disagree with them they literally have a mental breakdown. I pity them.

    • Toni says:

      Yeech sick of the Anjie story. Go away and raise your children. They’re here now, it’s not a movie project. Nanny anjie.
      Afraid you won’t be considered valuable.
      And, Scaring away a dad from their home, what gives anybody the right to force a child to have to live and try and grow up without both parents.

  9. Michelle Thompson says:

    Who gives a fuck about this brainless idiot?

  10. Yvette says:

    What ‘rave reviews”?
    I only have seen people on twitter commenting on the movie. That is not a real review.
    And I doubt Angelina Jolie made a decent movie. She directed 3 movies previously and none of them turned out well. They were all failures. I doubt on her 4th one she somehow miraculously became a good director!
    I also don’t like how she abused and exploited poor orphan children! Disgusting woman and human being! This movie should be boycotted!

  11. Jossy says:

    Who cares

  12. bristol says:

    No actaul reviews have come out saying it is a good movie. And it can’t even be considered for an Oscar either way since
    A) Hollywood is basically blacklisted for her treatment towards their golden boy Brad Pitt. I can’t see his friends wanting to nominate or give her an award.
    B) Its a TV movie from Netflix. TV movies are not eligible for an Oscar. I will wait for TIFFs reviews to see what the film is really like. It probbaly is terrible like the rest of her movies are
    I don’t buy that she went from being a terrible director from By the Sea to suddenly learning how to direct with this 4th flop! She started directing this movie a few months after By the Sea came out and bombed!

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