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Cambodia helped Angelina Jolie
become a film superstar and start a
To tell the stories of people in the
country that touched her, she is directing
a Netflix film on location based on a
memoir of the country s 1970s holocaust
under the communist Khmer Rouge,
blamed for the deaths of 1.7 million peo-
ple.And her Cambodia-born son Maddox
will help with research and preparation
for the film, Jolie said Tuesday in an
email interview with The Associated
Jolie s 2001 hit, Lara Croft: Tomb
Raider, was filmed partly at Cambodia s
famous Angkor Wat temple complex,
and in 2002 she adopted seven-month-
old Maddox from an orphanage in west-
Determined to give something back,
she launched a foundation in Cambodia
12 years ago to promote community
development alongside conservation.
This past weekend she visited some
of the projects of the Maddox Jolie-Pitt
Foundation, which focuses on pro-
grammes "to help local families over-
come problems associated with poverty
in the region and to help preserve the
remarkable habitat and wildlife for future
generations," she said.
She s slated to begin filming in
November on the Netflix project, an
adaptation of First they Killed My Father:
A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers,
author Loung Ung s memoir of her
childhood during the Khmer Rouge
regime. Jolie recently directed the Louis
Zamperini biopic Unbroken and is in
post-production on the drama By the
Sea, in which she also acts alongside
her husband, Brad Pitt.
During her visit to Cambodia this
week, Jolie agreed to answer a few
emailed questions from The Associated
Here is an edited version of the
AP: Do you feel a political/social
responsibility to tell the stories of
Cambodia, since Maddox is from
Jolie: I feel a deep connection to Cam-
bodia. I want to respect its history and
bring a film to the world that will not
only show the hardships of war but the
dignity and resilience of a people I deeply
As Maddox and I prepare the film we
will be side by side learning about his
He is turning 14 next week and this
is a very important time for him to
understand who he is. He is my son but
he is also a son of Cambodia.
This is the time for our family to understand all
that that means to him and to us.
My desire to tell this story in the most truthful
and accurate way possible will be my tribute to the
strength and dignity of all Cambodian people.
There are so many gruesome stories of people who
lived through the horror of Khmer Rouge. What about
this particular story do you feel needs to be told on
the big screen?
The intent of this project is not to revisit the horrors
of the war but to bring to the screen characters that
people around the world will empathise with, and to
help other people to learn about Cambodia.
What is special about this particular story is that
Angelina Jolie is doing research for the film with her Cambodia-born adopted son Maddox.
to land of
it is told from the perspective of a five-year-old child,
and is based on a child s emotional experience of war.
It sheds light not only on the experience of children
during the genocide in Cambodia but of all children
who endure war.
Will Maddox be involved with film/production?
Maddox will be on set every day after school and
involved behind the scenes. And yes, Maddox is already
involved in the Foundation and will take over my role
when he is older.
Jolie was in the capital Phnom Penh on Tuesday
doing research at the Bophana Center, an audiovisual
archive co-founded by Rithy Pan, an acclaimed Cam-
bodian documentary filmmaker whose work has
focused on the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge, and who
will help with the Netflix project, which will be done
in the Khmer language.
"We will be spending the next few months scouting
for locations, casting the film, but most importantly
researching every event to make sure it is historically
accurate and will pay respect not only to Loung Ung
and her family but to every single individual who suf-
fered under the Khmer Rouge," Jolie said a speech at
the center, which distributed the text.
"The book is a guide to one young girl s story, and
we will complete the story drawing on the experiences
of other and adding them to the film.
Through her story we will be telling many stories,
so that the film is not just based on the memory of
one child but on the collective memory of the people
of Cambodia." (AP)
Thursday, July 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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