Angelina Jolie Pitt has signed on to direct an adaptation of “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers,” for Netflix.
The film is based on the memoir by Cambodian author and human-rights activist Loung Ung, and revolves around surviving the Khmer Rouge regime. Loung Ung was five years old when the Khmer Rouge assumed power over Cambodia in 1975 and began a four-year reign of terror and genocide in which nearly two million people died. Forced from her family’s home in Phnom Penh, Ung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her six siblings were sent to labor camps.
Jolie Pitt and Ung adapted the book into a screenplay together. In addition to directing and adapting, Pitt is producing the film along with Rithy Panh (“The Missing Picture”). Jolie Pitt’s Cambodian-born son, Maddox, will also be involved in the production of the film.
“I was deeply affected by Loung’s book,” Jolie Pitt said. “It deepened forever my understanding of how children experience war and are affected by the emotional memory of it. And it helped me draw closer still to the people of Cambodia, my son’s homeland.”
She added, “It is a dream come true to be able to adapt this book for the screen, and I’m honored to work alongside Loung and filmmaker Rithy Panh.”
“We are proud to be working with Angelina Jolie in bringing this emotionally powerful and ultimately uplifting story exclusively to Netflix members around the world,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos added. “Loung Ung’s incredible journey is a testament to the human spirit and its ability to transcend even the toughest circumstances.”
The film, which will be released in both Khmer and English, will begin production in Cambodia later this year.