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Angelina Jolie – the other story.

If you’ve read the papers, flicked on the news or listened to the radio anytime over the last couple of days, chances are you’ve been bombarded with the words:


You see, BBC reporter Yalda Hakim scored a one-on-one interview with the actress in Cambodia where she’s recently had the premiere of her new movie First They Killed My Father. In their interview, they talk about the film, what Cambodia means to Angelina…. and for a few seconds there, her split from Brad.

Of course, every single media outlet in the world jumped on those few seconds. And suddenly everyone was talking about how Angelina has “broken her silence about her divorce” or is “speaking out for the first time” or “says she’s coping”…BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER STORY? 

What about everything else she spoke about at the premiere and during her interview with the brilliant Yalda? (To be fair, there have been a few headlines about Angelina eating Cambodian delicacies – see below – but mostly, it was all about her broken relationship.)

I feel all this recent media attention on Angelina sums up EXACTLY why I wanted to start CelebrityKind. We’re missing THE STORY. We’re so blinded by THE GOSSIP or the scandal or the cellulite or the bad outfit.. (in this case, the scandal. Oooooh! The most beautiful woman in the world divorces the most beautiful man in the world!)..that we’re missing the big, amazing things going on around us.

So what exactly have we been missing? TAKE A SEAT, there are so many stories here,  I don’t know where to start.

In an industry where we hardly ever talk about female directors, here’s the amazing Angelina who has just directed a film! AND SHE’S A WOMAN! I mean, we’re looking at really RIDICULOUS stats when it comes to female directors.

In 2016, only 7 percent of the top 250 grossing Hollywood films had a woman directing the movie. These stats are from The Study of Women in Television and Film by researchers at San Diego Uni. The first study they did was in 1998, almost 20 years ago…and the figure back then was 9 percent. So basically, we’re going backwards.

And then there’s the subject matter of Angelina’s film. It’s based on the memoir by Loung Ung, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. It’s a film about Pol Pot’s reign of terror on the people of Cambodia. About the millions of people massacred by the Khmer Rouge. About those who survived and live to tell the tale.

A film which was shot in Cambodia with an entirely Cambodian cast, creating hundreds of jobs, and is educating the younger generations about their country’s history.

A film which Angelina says is her way of thanking Cambodia – because that’s where she first met (and then adopted) her eldest son Maddox.

A film which Angelina is hoping will shed some light on what may’ve happened to Maddox’s birth parents – and the many other children orphaned during the time of the Khmer Rouge.

Angelina is doing something HUGE here. She’s educating the world about Cambodia’s painful history through her craft. No matter what you think of her as an actress, director or role model, no one can deny that what she’s doing with this film is worthy of our attention.

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.

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