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Angelina Jolie: Family, Film, and Helping the World

The film projects of actress, activist, and director Angelina Jolie often work to shed light on heartbreaking and attention-deserving events that take place all over the world. Her newest film is no exception.

Based on the memoir First They Killed My Father by Cambodian-born human rights activist Loung Ung, the film highlights Ung’s experiences as a young girl growing up under the notorious Khmer Rouge rule.

Jolie was motivated to take on this project by her first adopted son, Maddox, who was born in Cambodia. Jolie also wanted Maddox to take part in the film’s production in any way he felt he wanted to, as the film is based on his home country. As always, the actress remains respectful in her portrayals of different cultures, as well as conscious of the need to remain true to its people’s stories.

Maddox told People that “he pitched in on meetings, prepped for shoots and helped review dailies on the drama Jolie directed for Netflix.” Jolie’s younger son Pax, who was born in Vietnam, was also part of the production and worked as a set photographer as well. Talk about an awesome experience for a 13-year-old.

“I was trying to help wherever I could,” Maddox said, mentioning that his mother is “fun, funny, and easy to work with. She’s a wonder.”

Maddox’s sweet words seem to echo those of many in regards to Angelina’s personality. In lieu of her eye-opening films, Jolie is known for her humble activism, as well as her grace and compassion in working with victims of various tragedies around the world.

As USA Today puts it, Angelina “doesn’t just talk the talk.” Alongside using her films to bring exposure to global issues, she often gives back to her causes in various ways. In 2013, she opened a school for girls in Afghanistan, funded by retail sales from her Style by Jolie jewelry line. The school opened in a region just outside of Kabul, which is an area known for its resistance to education for girls.

In 2012, Jolie made her directorial debut with In the Land of Blood and Honey, which she used to remind the world of the tragedies suffered during the Bosnian war. Her film sparked newfound debate on the issues from both critics and Bosnians alike.

Jolie, who has also received an honorary Oscar for her humanitarian work, visited refugee camps in Lebanon and Greece just last year, where she met with families fleeing from Syria.

Without naming President Trump, Angelina spoke out in February of 2017 against his short-lived ban on citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Jolie warned, “By implying Muslims are less worthy of protection, we fuel extremism abroad.”

Now, just three days ago, the Academy Award-winning actress attended the premiere of First They Killed My Father with all six of her children: Shiloh, Zahara, Knox, Vivienne, Pax, and Maddox. On the newest addition to her collection of films, Jolie believes it is an important story to tell. It seems that thanks to stars like Jolie, stories like Ung’s and many others are allowed to be told in the way that they were intended.

It is without a doubt that through Angelina Jolie’s films, activism, and various humanitarian efforts, these stories are in good hands – hands that are more than capable of carrying their weight.

Featured Image by Gage Skidmore on Flickr

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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