Angelina Jolie is behind the camera again with First They Killed My Father, another passion project that looks to be anything but pleasant. It’s an adaptation of Loung Ung’s memoir of the same name, covering her childhood under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The horrors run deep and long in this story, and if you aren’t familiar with the Khmer Rouge, perhaps mentioning that it was led by Pol Pot will jog your memory.
So yeah, not a good choice for your Netflix and chill evenings, but it is a good choice for Netflix’s uphill battle against industry dismissal. The streaming service turned production glutton has been churning out original content in huge numbers, but recognition for its films has been begrudging at best. Too many festivals and awards organizations turn up their noses at streaming-only releases, but it will be hard to ignore a Jolie-led prestige picture.
Whatever your feelings are about Jolie as a director, you must admit that she’s not frivolous about her projects. The idea of unspeakable horrors seems to be the antithesis of her gaze; there’s war, genocide, and crumbling relationships all around us, and she won’t let you forget it. That doesn’t mean there isn’t hope and heroes to find, it just means that she doesn’t gloss over the obstacles people face. The unblinking nature of her movies make them stand out, even when they are delivered on a content-rich streaming platform.
First They Killed My Father is directed by Angelina Jolie and stars Sareum Srey Moch, Phoeung Kompheak, and Sveng Socheata. It will be released through Netflix on September 15th, 2017.
Do you think this film will get the awards recognition Netflix so obviously wants? Let us know in the comments!
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