The first public screening of the Khmer-language Netflix film First They Killed My Father was held on Friday in Cambodia exclusively by Westec Media Limited, who have arranged a one-month theatrical run at Legend Toul Kork, Legend City Mall, and Legend Stung Meanchey as well as Major Cineplex, Prime Cineplex, and Baray Andet in advance of the worldwide release by Netflix this coming Friday.
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 regime.
The film is dedicated to all those who died under the Khmer Rouge, and all those who survived. It focuses on the love and dedication of a Cambodian family, and celebrates the beauty, spirit and resilience of the Kingdom’s people and culture.
The official Cambodian premiere of First They Killed My Father took place on February 18 at the Terrace of the Elephants at the Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap with the gracious presence of King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath. It was attended not only by important officials and dignitaries but also representatives from Cambodian society, with priority given to survivors of the Khmer Rouge as well as local historical experts and educational organisations.
Shot on location in Cambodia between November 2015 and February 2016, and filmed entirely in the Khmer language, it is the largest movie ever made in the country. Cambodian technicians, artisans and crafts people comprised the largest portion of the crew, along with more than 3,500 local background actors.
The cast is made up of Cambodian actors, many of which are appearing in a film for the first time. Sreymoch Sareum, who plays the central role of Loung from the ages of five to nine, and from whose point of view the story unfolds, was discovered in a local charity school.
Loung’s parents (Pa and Ma) are played by Phoeung Kompheak and Sveng Socheata. Loung’s siblings are portrayed by Nita and Nika Sarun (Geak), Chenda Run (Chou), Kimhak Mun (Kim), Sreyneang Oun (Keav), Sothea Khoun (Khouy) and Dara Heng (Meng).
First They Killed My Father is a Netflix film produced by Angelina Jolie and acclaimed Cambodian director and producer Rithy Panh, director of the Oscar-nominated The Missing Picture. Michael Vieira (By the Sea) also serves as a producer. Loung Ung, Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Adam Somner (Bridge of Spies) and Charles Schissel (The Prestige) are executive producers, and Academy Award winner Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire) serves as director of photography.
Tickets can be booked in person and online with show times available on the following websites: