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Angelina Jolie Pitt filming war memoir in Cambodia from November

Angelina Jolie Pitt will start filming her adaptation of memoir First They Killed My Father in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from mid-November.

Her new directing project is based on the true story of how Cambodian author and human rights activist Laung Ung survived the brutality of the Khmer Rouge regime, which seized power in Cambodia in 1975.

As many as three million Cambodians were murdered by the Khmer Rouge. Ung was just five years old when the regime took over, and was forced to become a child soldier.

Jolie Pitt will shoot largely in Siem Reap in north-western Cambodia and location filming will run through to the end of January with the support of Cambodia Film Commission, reports local media outlet the Phnom Penh Post.

“Siem Reap offers various looks that we need for the picture while also offering really good infrastructure,” said the film’s line producer Bill Wilson, in comments to the outlet.

“This is unique, I think, because it is from the perspective of a young five-year-old girl and we will see the movie through her eyes – what she saw and what she experienced. It is [a] very new way to tell the story.”

Jolie Pitt worked in Cambodia early in her film career when she starred in the first Tomb Raider movie, and her adopted son Maddox was born in the country.

“I was deeply affected by Loung’s book,” said Jolie Pitt when the project was announced in the summer. “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.

“It is a dream come true to be able to adapt this book for the screen, and I’m honoured to work alongside Loung and filmmaker Rithy Panh.”

For more on filming in Cambodia, check our production guide here.


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