Toronto: Angelina Jolie Says Directing Other People Reveals "Their Greatness"
The 'First They Killed My Father' director says she prefers being behind the camera these days, to being in front.
Having brought two movies to the Toronto Film Festival this week, one Angelina Jolie directed and the other she co-produces, the Oscar-winning actress on Sunday said she prefers being behind the camera, rather than in front.
"I like championing other people and finding their greatness," Jolie said during an informal conversation at the Glenn Gould Theater. She brought her fourth feature directorial effort, First They Killed My Father, to Toronto, a foreign language film set in Cambodia that first bowed in Telluride.
She's also showing The Breadwinner, an animated feature she produced and which has its world premiere here. The director-actress brought her six children to the Winter Gardens Theater earlier Sunday to take in the drama about a 12-year-old Aghan girl's struggle to grow up under the Taliban.
Jolie also talked at length about three earlier movies she directed — In the Land of Blood and Honey, Unbroken and By the Sea — each of which had a different cinematographer. "They change and I change," she said of growing as a director by never repeating herself by working with a different director of photography each time.
And with her latest movie, First They Killed My Father, Jolie said the feature, while headed to Netflix, was made primarily for Cambodia and its people, who experienced a four-year reign of terror in which nearly 2 million Cambodians died from 1975.
The film, which shows that country's genocide through its impact on one family, premiered first in Cambodia, months ago. "It was amazing. It was really bringing the film back, and the people who saw it were survivors," Jolie recalled. Because the Cambodian genocide is rarely spoken about, the director was nervous beforehand about how the country would react.
"It was really such a moving experience. We premiered it across the country, in many places, like the Olympic Stadium, where so much horror happened," Jolie recounted. "The country itself deserves this film and this dialogue. I heard parents and grandparents speaking about it (the genocide) to their children because they hadn't spoken about it before," she added.
And not being done acting, Jolie also had some advice for anyone looking to grow in front of the camera. "Have a full life. Listen to other actors. Be aware and respond. Be a better person," she said.
The Toronto Film Festival runs through Sept. 17.