It was a loving moment in Siem Reap, Cambodia on Saturday when Angelina Jolie brought her children to the premiere of First They Killed My Father, a long-gestating passion project. The drama was directed and co-written by Jolie and Entertainment Weekly reported that Jolie's sons, Maddox (who was born in Cambodia before being adopted) and Pax, worked on the film's production, too. But it was not just Maddox and Pax who accompanied Jolie; she was joined by all of her children, including Shiloh, Zahara, and twins Knox and Vivienne. It could not have been a sweeter moment for Jolie to be surrounded by, imaginably, the ones she cherishes the most as they all celebrated another achievement in her career.
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, Jolie's fifth directorial effort, is described on IMDb as a film about "Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung recounts the horrors she suffered under the rule of the deadly Khmer Rouge." While her son Maddox was born after this dark period in Cambodia's history, there is no doubt that the young man in some way — arguably in his own family history — may have felt the effects of this time period. It would then make this an even more personal film for Jolie and her son, who also worked on the film.
Jolie and her children received a warm welcome to the premiere at the Terrance of the Elephant in Angkor Wat. During a press conference, Jolie expressed her gratitude at being entrusted to tell this story and discussed what this film meant to her personally. According to People, she said,
"I cannot find words to express what it means to me that I was entrusted with telling part of the story of this country. This film was not made to focus on the horrors of the past but to celebrate the resilience, kindness, and talent of the Cambodian people. Without Cambodia I may never have become a mother. Part of my heart is and will always be in this country. And part of this country is always with me: Maddox."
Maddox was able to also express his happiness for being able to bring the film back to Cambodia. He said, "Thank you everyone for attending tonight. We finally made it. It’s a great honor to present this film to all of you, and to stand by my mother and my family."
It sounds like a truly touching event, and hopefully will be a cherished one for Jolie and her children.