Angelina Jolie is eager to have her adopted son Maddox learn more about his heritage as she gears up to direct a film about his native Cambodia.
The Unbroken director adopted Maddox from a Cambodian orphanage when he was just seven months old in 2002, and now, nearly 13 years later, both Jolie and Maddox are returning to his homeland as she helms First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.
The film is based on Cambodian author and human rights activist Loung Ung's tale of surviving the notorious Khmer Rouge regime, and Jolie tells the Associated Press that her goal is to help her teen son remember where he came from as he assists her on the project.
She says, "Maddox will be on set every day after school and involved behind the scenes... As Maddox and I prepare the film we will be side by side learning about his country. He is turning 14 next week and this is a very important time for him to understand who he is. He is my son but he is also a son of Cambodia. This is the time for our family to understand all that that means to him and to us."
Jolie also co-wrote the screenplay with Ung and is producing the project, which the filmmaker tells local newspaper In Phnom Penh will be told from the child's perspective.
She says, "The intent of this project is not to revisit the horrors of the war but to bring to the screen characters that people around the world will identify with and empathize with, and help to teach people about this country that I love and respect, and the Cambodian culture and family life I so admire."
Jolie, who has two other adopted children and three biological kids with husband Brad Pitt, has already touched down in Phnom Penh to check in on the progress of her two longest-running charities, the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation and the Maddox Chivan Children's Center, organizations which Jolie says her son will take over when he is older.
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers is slated for release on Internet streaming site Netflix in late 2016.