Angelina Jolie's 'First They Killed My Father' Trailer Debuts

Nick Schager
Writer

Angelina Jolie is returning to the director’s chair for this September’s First They Killed My Father, a based-on-real-events drama about the Cambodian genocide that’s set to debut exclusively on Netflix. In the past week, the film has come under fire after a Vanity Fair profile of the star in which it was reported that she had employed a controversial audition process for the film — an account that Jolie vehemently denied in a subsequent response via The Huffington Post. While it’s unclear if that statement has quelled the brouhaha, the film has now debuted its first trailer (watch it above), which promises a harrowing story of trauma and survival.

Based on Loung Ung’s 2000 memoir of the same name, First They Killed My Father concerns Ung’s ordeal suffering through, and then finally escaping, the Khmer Rouge killings that, in the 1970s, resulted in the deaths of approximately 2 million people. Those victims included Ung’s parents, two sisters, and 20 other relatives, and the debut trailer for Jolie’s film (which launched at People earlier this morning) seems like it’ll be a wrenching account of that loss, as well as Ung’s eventual liberating flight to Thailand in 1980 with her older brother and his wife.

Young newcomer Sareum Srey Moch in ‘First They Killed My Father’ (Photo: Netflix)

Made in collaboration with Ung (who co-wrote the script with Jolie) and Rithy Panh (a Cambodian filmmaker, here working as a producer), and with a cast that includes a combination of professional actors and amateur child performers, First They Kill My Father figures to be a hot-button awards contender this fall. You can see the film — which is first premiering at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival — exclusively on Netflix on Sept. 15.

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