Screenshot/First They Killed My Father
After her heartbreaking divorce from Brad Pitt rocked the world of Hollywood romances, Angelina Jolie has finally started to speak out on how she’s dealt with it all. But, like most parents, both Jolie and Pitt have maintained that throughout their separation, their number one priority is their six children.
“It’s just been the hardest time, and we’re just kind of coming up for air. We’re all trying to do our best to heal our family.”
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Angelina Jolie—actor, director, writer, humanitarian— has the same concerns that all mothers do: "As I go to sleep at night, I think, Did I do a great job as a mom or was that an average day?" Read more about Jolie's new life as a single mother in Vanity Fair's sprawling cover story (link in bio). Photograph by @mertalas and @macpiggott.
But Jolie revealed even more heartbreak when she detailed her grieving process. The 42-year-old actress told Vanity Fair that in order to spare her children’s nerves, she only allows herself to get upset in private:
“I was very worried about my mother, growing up — a lot. I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it’s very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything’s going to be all right even when you’re not sure it is.”
However, most people couldn’t let go what Jolie said about her most recent film, “First They Killed My Father” — the film adaptation of Loung Ung’s memoir. It depicts her life as a Cambodian little girl through war after her father and family members were killed.
The stories that change us should be shared with the world. First They Killed My Father premieres on Netflix this September.
Posted by First They Killed My Father on Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Cambodia holds a special place in Jolie’s heart; she adopted her first child, Maddox, there. But when talking about how she brought Ung’s memoir to the big screen, her methods upset a lot of people.
Vanity Fair wrote that to cast the main character in the film, Jolie set up a “rather disturbing” audition process:
To cast the children in the film, Jolie looked at orphanages, circuses, and slum schools, specifically seeking children who had experienced hardship. In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie.
Jolie told Vanity Fair the girl they eventually chose had some very real reasons for wanting that money, saying through tears:
“Srey Moch was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time. When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back. When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”
What Angelina Jolie did to those kids in Cambodia is disgusting. But, it won't make a splash in the media cos she's one of the untouchables.
— ChillMonger (@_Choccie) July 28, 2017
Jolie, however, didn’t let those rumors stir for long. On Sunday, she released a statement to the Huffington Post refuting any cruelty whatsoever, saying:
Every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of the children on the film starting from the auditions through production to the present … I am upset that a pretend exercise in an improvisation, from an actual scene in the film, has been written about as if it was a real scenario. The suggestion that real money was taken from a child during an audition is false and upsetting. I would be outraged myself if this had happened.
Rithy Panh, a Cambodian filmmaker and producer on the film, told the Huffington Post that actual money wasn’t used in the casting process Instead, the children were given camera equipment. He said the whole controversy surrounding it is a “misunderstanding”:
Great care was taken with the children not only during auditions, but throughout the entirety of the film’s making …
Because the memories of the genocide are so raw, and many Cambodians still have difficulty speaking about their experiences, a team of doctors and therapists worked with us on set every day so that anyone from the cast or crew who wanted to talk could do so.
Jolie’s film is set to hit Netflix in September, and clearly, she’s incredibly proud of not only the film but also of how it was made.