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Angelina Jolie is directing a Netflix movie about the Khmer Rouge

First They Killed My Father tells the story of a woman who grew up during Cambodia's reign of terror

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Angelina Jolie has signed on to direct a new film for Netflix, based on the memoir of a Cambodian human rights activist who lived through the Khmer Rouge regime. The film, First They Killed My Father, will be released in late 2016 in both English and Khmer.

Jolie will direct and produce the movie, based on a script she co-wrote with Loung Ung, author of the book First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. Loung was a child when the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia, where nearly two million people were killed during the four-year regime. Loung was sent to train as a child soldier at a work camp for orphans, while her siblings were sent to labor camps.

"hard to watch but important to see."

Loung met Jolie in 2001, one year after the writer's memoir was published. As a Special Envoy for the UN refugee agency, Jolie has championed several human rights causes around the globe, and has personal ties to Cambodia, where her son Maddox was born. Her son will also have an unspecified role in the film's production, according to Netflix.

"Films like this are hard to watch but important to see," Jolie said in a statement. "They are also hard to get made. Netflix is making this possible, and I am looking forward to working with them and excited that the film will reach so many people."

First They Killed My Father is the latest feature-length project from Netflix, which last month announced plans to distribute War Machine, a satirical war comedy starring Brad Pitt, Jolie's husband.