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Adapted from Loung Ung’s memoir, the film recounts Ung’s harrowing survival story under former Cambodian leader Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime. Once her hometown capital of Phnom Penh was overtaken, Ung’s family was separated — the young girl was forced to become a child soldier while her siblings were sent to labor camps. The genocide included the deaths of one-quarter of the country’s population.
Jolie helms the drama from a script she adapted with Ung, and produced it with prolific local documentary filmmaker Rithy Panh. Ung, Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Adam Somner, Michael Vieira and Charles Schissel are executive producers, and Anthony Dod Mantle serves as director of photography.
The Khmer-language film, shot entirely in Cambodia, premiered in February and will screen next at the Toronto Film Festival. It features a cast of mostly nonprofessionals and recently made headlines for an improvisational exercise used during the casting of its young actors.
First They Killed My Father hits Netflix on Sept. 15.
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