First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (2017)
2h 16min | Biography, Drama, History | 15 September 2017 (USA)
The Netflix original film will launch on Friday, September 15 at Landmark Magnolia Dallas location and globally on Netflix.
Synopsis: Directed by Angelina Jolie, First They Killed My Father is the adaptation of Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung’s gripping memoir of surviving the deadly Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1978. The story is told through her eyes, from the age of five, when the Khmer Rouge came to power, to nine years old. The film depicts the indomitable spirit and devotion of Loung and her family as they struggle to stay together during the Khmer Rouge years.
Review: Jolie does a fantastic job of not only capturing the weight of the story but the beauty of the Cambodian landscape. It is this combination of struggle and natural beauty that makes the film so powerful. It is a hard watch. War is a terrible thing and brings out the worst in those with power. To see this played out through the eyes of a child is soul crushing. It is one thing to subject adults to a regime of cruelty but when the innocent have to endure such things it is on a whole different level.
There is no doubt that Angelina Jolie drew upon her own convictions and passion for children to bring this to the screen. The content is never watered down but at the same time it is handled in gentle ways as if by doing so would comfort the ghosts of the past. But even the best director could never take credit for the performance of young Sareum Srey Moch who plays Loung Ung. She says very little in the film but you read so much in her eyes and her facial expressions. It is as if she is unaware of the cameras around her or that she is on a movie set. The feeling is more like she is witnessing the events first hand and we are seeing them reflected on her.
Netflix is a powerhouse for original films and content. This is no exception.