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Cambodian king to open Jolie's film on Khmer Rouge survivor

Associated Press logo Associated Press 2/14/2017 By SOPHENG CHEANG, Associated Press
FILE - In this Monday, June 20, 2016, file photo, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie speaks to reporters during a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry at the Department of State in Washington. Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni will preside over the premiere of Angelina Jolie's film based on a memoir from a Khmer Rouge survivor. A spokesman for the government agency that oversees the archaeological site said Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, that Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk will also attend the showing of "First They Killed My Father," on Saturday at the centuries-old Angkor Wat temple complex. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Monday, June 20, 2016, file photo, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy Angelina Jolie speaks to reporters during a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry at the Department of State in Washington. Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni will preside over the premiere of Angelina Jolie's film based on a memoir from a Khmer Rouge survivor. A spokesman for the government agency that oversees the archaeological site said Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, that Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk will also attend the showing of "First They Killed My Father," on Saturday at the centuries-old Angkor Wat temple complex. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni will preside over the premiere Saturday of Angelina Jolie's film based on a memoir from a Khmer Rouge survivor.

Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk and senior government officials will also attend the showing of "First They Killed My Father" at the centuries-old Angkor Wat temple complex, a spokesman for the government agency that oversees the archaeological site said Tuesday.

Jolie, who directed the Khmer-language film on location in 2015-16, is also scheduled to attend.

Two free public screens are planned at the site near Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia.

The film is based on Loung Ung's account of her survival as a child under the 1975-79 communist Khmer Rouge regime, believed to be responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million Cambodians from starvation, disease and execution.

Jolie has had an affinity for Cambodia since she began goodwill work for the U.N.'s refugee agency in 2001, and her eldest son, Maddox, was adopted from the country. She also has established a foundation to promote social development in rural Cambodia. FILE - This Nov. 16, 2013 file photo shows Maddox Jolie-Pitt, with Angelina Jolie on the red carpet at the 2013 Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governor Awards, in Los Angeles. Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni will preside over the premiere of Angelina Jolie's film based on a memoir from a Khmer Rouge survivor. Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk will also attend the showing of "First They Killed My Father," on Saturday at the centuries-old Angkor Wat temple complex, an official said. Jolie directed the Khmer-language film on location in 2015-16. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - This Nov. 16, 2013 file photo shows Maddox Jolie-Pitt, with Angelina Jolie on the red carpet at the 2013 Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Governor Awards, in Los Angeles. Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni will preside over the premiere of Angelina Jolie's film based on a memoir from a Khmer Rouge survivor. Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk will also attend the showing of "First They Killed My Father," on Saturday at the centuries-old Angkor Wat temple complex, an official said. Jolie directed the Khmer-language film on location in 2015-16. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)

King Sihamoni's late father, Norodom Sihanouk, produced, wrote, directed and sometimes even acted in more than two dozen films made when he was in and out of power. Sihamoni has a deep interest in art and culture, focused on dance, both ballet and classical Cambodian dance.

Long Kosal, the spokesman for Apsara Authority, the agency that oversees the temple complex, said he is pleased that the movie will have its premiere at Angkor Wat.

"As a Khmer Rouge survivor, I am very proud that this movie is to be screened here, as the film will recall how the atrocities and harm caused to the Cambodian people under the Khmer Rouge regime," he said, explaining that it would be a good lesson to younger generations not to let such a brutal type of regime take power.

Jolie's previous directorial projects include the 2015 marriage drama "By the Sea," in which she starred alongside then-husband Brad Pitt, and the 2014 survival story "Unbroken."

Angelina's most memorable movies Angelina Jolie: Filmography

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