TORONTO – Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie said she never intended to step behind the camera but travelling around the world for the United Nations opened her eyes to the conflicts that had inspired many of her most recent films.
“I never thought I could make a movie or direct,” she told an audience at the Toronto Film Festival on Sunday, which is screening her Cambodian genocide film First They Killed My Father and Afghan movie The Breadwinner.
Jolie said her first major film as a director, the 2011 Bosnian war drama In The Land Of Blood And Honey, was prompted by her humanitarian work as a special envoy for the United Nations refugee agency.
“I wanted to learn more about the war of Yugoslavia. I had been in the region and travelling in the UN. It was a war I really couldn’t get my head around.
“It was not a goal to become a director,” she said.
The Breadwinner, an animated film that she produced, is about a young Afghan girl who cuts her hair and poses as a boy in order to feed her family.
Jolie said First They Killed My Father was inspired by wanting to learn more about the history of Cambodia, the birthplace of her son Maddox, one of her six children.
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