About Angelina Jolie And The Movie ‘First They Killed My Father’ Through The Eyes of a Nigerian

About Angelina Jolie And The Movie ‘First They Killed My Father’ Through The Eyes of a Nigerian

The following is an incredibly moving piece written by Nigerian writer and filmmaker, Jude Idada on his Facebook timeline. It is not LGBT-related – or perhaps it is – but it is very pertinent especially with regards to the recent times that we, as Nigerians, have found ourselves in.

Read and share. Don’t just keep this truth to yourselves.

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Yesterday at the Toronto International Film Festival, I saw a movie written and directed by Angelina Jolie – First They Killed My Father.

It is an incredibly powerful and beautiful film. A film so sensitive and intimate, yet heart wrenching and provoking that it could only have been so brilliantly told by a woman.

A woman with a big heart.

A woman whose big heart is full of love, and whose mind overflows with wisdom and deep intuition.

A spirit soul.

The film is broadly about a loving family which is slowly and systematically destroyed by the murderous Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, a regime that killed a quarter of the entire population of Cambodia during its short four-year reign from 1975 to 1979.

By United Nations estimates, this number equals 3 million people, people who had previously jubilated and welcomed them to power.

She made this film for her son Maddox Jolie-Pitt, who she adopted from Cambodia.

And in her words she also made the movie:

“…that we may remember that evil needs our active collaboration and casual disinterest to come alive.”

Angelina came with all her children for the premiere and I couldn’t resist taking a picture.

But that was not the most memorable moment.

Yes there were several of them, which happened in the theatre as we watched the film. There were tears all over as the film pulled you in and made you ponder and wonder, reflect and cringe, smile and hope, extrapolate and learn.

It tells you starkly – This can happen to you too.

It is a true life story.

And it shows how we can, through our own words and actions while expressing our grievances and disillusionment, unwittingly pave the way to power for the ones who claim to have our interest at heart but are actually bent on creating an incredibly barbarous dystopia, which will ultimately destroy us.

It says be careful who you label “Saviour”.

Messiah.

Leader.

Many a madman speaks intelligently.

Many a demon are cloaked in the vestiges of angels.

As Lonzo Nzekwe and I watched it, I turned to him and asked him, “Who does this remind you of in Nigeria?”

And he mentioned a name – the same name that was in my mind.

We fell back into silence as we watched on. And then Lonzo whispered, “All I am thinking of are my children.”

And there were tears in his eyes.

It is a film about Cambodia. Yet it reminds you so much of Nigeria. This path we are treading.

Be careful on whose head you want the crown laid.

During the Q and A session, after we had watched the movie, a young girl stood up and asked Angelina, “What do we do when people like these come to us saying that they want to free us from oppression?”

And Angelina responded in that her quiet but deeply loving and enlightened way.

“First of all, be brave, stand up and ask questions. The person who would kill you while purporting to save you hates answering questions. They detest being held to any reasonable standards of expectations. That is your red flag. That is the sign. When they attempt to shut you down, it is your duty to oppose them in any way you can. If you stay silent, you give them power. If you give them power, they will ultimately kill you.”

May we all stay woke.

These are dangerous times.

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26 Comments

  1. Francis
    September 18, 06:42 Reply

    Wow! That response was simply beautiful ???????

    • Mandy
      September 18, 07:01 Reply

      You notice how that her response correctly describes the situation where our esteemed president blatantly refused to do a debate with Jonathan when he was still campaigning.

      “The person who would kill you while purporting to save you hates answering questions.”

      And a presidential debate would have lots and lots of questions.

      • Francis
        September 18, 07:15 Reply

        Also describes Kanu Biafra well too

      • Yazz Soltana
        September 19, 12:02 Reply

        Jonathan refused to debate with any contestants at all but chose to have prepared,revised and already reviewed questions that he still answered to dumbly with lots of doublespeak…
        Buhari had a debate with the rest of the 3 major candidates a debate Jonathan didn’t come to which held first before the fraud of a debate Jonathan organised for himself and the remaining refused to attend because of the disrespect shown them by Jonathan not attending the first one.
        I’m sure to you Jonathan is the Lord and Savior of Nigeria. ….A very innocent, blameless man. ….

        • Mandy
          September 19, 16:11 Reply

          Did I say anything about Jonathan? Did I ever mention anything that implied what I thought about Jonathan’s presidency? Did I express my feelings, whether positive or negative, at all about Jonathan? You do realize that people are capable of criticizing our president without dwelling on any comparisons between him and Jonathan, right? Oga, please step far, far away from me with your bad attitude and political acrimony. I don’t have time or the inclination to be fighting Sai Baba battles with you.

          • Yazz Soltana
            September 19, 23:18 Reply

            And I’ve told you that he did answer questions…..
            Bye ? ? ?

  2. trystham
    September 18, 08:21 Reply

    I was telling someone the other day for we as Nigerians, the curiosity and questioning anything/anyone that comes with being a child has been referred to as impertinence and beaten/harrassed/bullied out of us growing up. A distinct lack of interest in anything and bandwagonism has now become our default setting. Its why we av not grown significantly in any facet. Until we really start asking questions, nothing will work mehn

    • Mandy
      September 18, 08:28 Reply

      Why should we ask questions when we can simply rely on the laziness of autopilot, programmed by our leaders, from the government to the pastors and reverends.

      • trystham
        September 18, 08:42 Reply

        And parents too. Don’t forget the evil eyes, the ‘can’t u see I’m busy’ or ‘gaan ask uncle so-so-so’ when u ‘pestered’ them with qxns growing up.Very curiosity dampening sumtin

  3. Real
    September 18, 08:27 Reply

    you tried o, I don’t think I’d survive being in such close proximity to Angelina Jolie

  4. Foxydevil
    September 18, 08:41 Reply

    Angelina Jolie is a not only up there as one of the most beautiful women in the world (along with aishwarya rai bachan) but she has proven herself to be smart, intelligent, strong and Compassionate.
    An inspiring woman and this movie was all shades of inspiring.
    Heard her son “Maddox ” was one of the directors…. I love what she has done with those kids.
    Angelina is definitely a role model and a legend in the making.
    ******************
    The Nigerian situation.
    Over the years since the civil war, many unlikely heroes have risen to fuel this agitation . You know why none has ever succeeded nor drawn as much followership and support as the present man?
    This time around, there is incredible amount of hunger in the land.
    A hungry man they say is an angry man…. He neither reasons nor think… He will cling to anywhere he smells hope, even when that hope is only a false illusion, created by a selfish man veiled as the coming Messiah.
    During the yaradua, obsanjo even Jonathan’s era of governance, things were relatively stable. Nigeria was never a paradise and probably will never be but then people could afford food. The igbos who mostly consist of business men and women could exchange dollars for 150 naira or less, petroleum was affordable too. Now look at what is happening, the common man can’t even feed, kids are dropping out of school, rituals, drug trafficking and what have you are on the rise with impending alacrity.
    I feel we can hammer so much on how the promised land might not be the promised land it is been sold as but no one will listen…. Unless people channel this energy they use to put up articles about how the movement is a bad idea, and instead create articles that can teach our dull leaders how to marginalise our tapering economy and use it to create a stream for sustainable development in this fast failing country, this down will sadly never be averted. Each day the man’s followers grows .People have taken to worshipping him as their gods.
    A hungry man is not a reasonable man!
    And with the person who camouflages himself as a leader, jetting in and out of the country in the face of impeding crises, globe trotting like a musician and not an actual first citizen….
    I see no hope in sight. ?

    • Gad
      September 19, 03:43 Reply

      You clearly displayed how little you know about our economic history and how we got to the present situation or you know but just like many tribal and religious bigots you are just closing your eyes to the truth. You don’t need an economist to analyze how we got to the state we are in now. Okongo-Iweala, a finance minister in the immediate past administration warned that we are going into recession as far back as 2014. Our foreign reserve was reduced from about £60b where Obj and Yar Adua left it to £15b by Jonathan at a time when we revenue from crude was highest at about £140 per barrel. Common sense will tell you that you should save more when earning is high but nothing was saved,instead our savings was reduced to almost zero with no visible projects to point at. As at December 2014 to April 2015 ,salaries were paid promptly but from borrowed funds yet our earnings was highest. Why? Massive looting was going on. Let me not talk about tyranny but just remind you that an IG of police in the past administration made several public statements to the effect that the then speaker of the house of representatives was no longer speaker. He was barred from entering the national assembly. I know it did nothing to you because the speaker was not from your tribe or religion but it did a lot to me because he,just like the President carries the crest that symbolises our pride,sovereignty and independence as a nation. Back to the economy,because of the declaration of the incoming Buhari govt that it was going to fight corruption, those who has been stealing us dry thought that one of the ways he will do it was by changing the face of the naira in order to render their loot useless. They changed their loot from naira to foreign currencies thereby mopping up forex that thereby creating scarcity. Then follows the fall of crude to an all time low of £26 per barrel. All these led to scarcity. A JS1 student knows that when a commodity is scarce, the prize goes up. That was our story. The fact that we are a mono economy that depends only on the sell of crude did not help matters. This monstrous Buhari govt has been working on diversification especially through agriculture. For the first time we had a “made in Nigeria Christmas” because most of the rice used was local. Are you not ashamed that Nigeria imports rice? .Talking of marginalization of the east,my place, Rev Obasanjo was President for 8yrs,yet he neglected the roads that meant so much to the Easterners, eg enugu-onitsha express road,Lagos-Ore-Benin roads,Enugu-PH roads etc. Don’t forget that we are predominantly Christians like Rev Obj. St.Jonathan came and did the same but the monster,evil Buhari in his first budget as President captured these roads as priority.
      Then enters the sponsored Niger Delta avengers. Through their concerted and systematic bombing of our oil facilities,our crude production dropped from over 2 million barrels per day to 800 BPD. Tell me, how can the government be able to meet its target with these? .
      We should always be fair to all irrespective of creed, tribe or region.

      • Foxydevil
        September 19, 04:37 Reply

        You must be very stupid and idiotic to call me a bigot.
        The thing I hate more than anything, fools who jump into conclusions.
        Learn to read to comprehend not reading to oppose. Never did I blame the present government for the state of the economy ,so all your supposed history lessons aren’t needed.
        If you had read to understand and not to rush over here and display the thing you think will pass as ” intelligence ”
        You would have known I was speaking in general terms and not telling the government to make priority any tribe but the country and all its people in general.
        If you read to understand and not to oppose you would have seen where I clearly mentioned “even Jonathan’s administration ” …anyone with a half a brain would have understood that that was an acknowledgement of things already getting bad ,but definitely not this bad.
        Now listen gad or whatever you call yourself…. Just like a baby needs its mother, a country needs its president. It doesn’t matter if the recession was announced in 1900 ,a president should be in his country not the one that disappears for over three months and comes back to disappear again.
        At the end of the day, the joke is on you,because I have dual ethnicity. My mother is a Yoruba and my father is an igbo, I spent most of my child hood with my cousins in kogi state at my maternal grandmother’s place.
        So next time you rush in like a rapid dog to vomit your stench of nonsense all over my reply, do try to understand the point I’m trying to pass across.
        Don’t confuse me for a bigot, simply because you can’t see past your little opinion….. not that it matters anyway…. It is just as irrelevant as you, maybe a more so and that’s saying something.

        • Gad
          September 19, 07:23 Reply

          I was forced to go back to the your comment which you claimed was misunderstood and after going through, I started wondering if you are actually the one that commented and even if a proxy did it for you,perhaps you didn’t read it. But please go to your comment and look for”…a selfish man veiled as the Messiah …” “During the yardua and Obasanjo era of governance things were relatively stable” . etc. And figure if you are referring to Nnamd kanu or if you don’t owe me gratitude for putting things in proper perspectives for you. I laughed at the claim that I called you a bigot because I never did but I was forcef to crosschecked only to see that you called yourself a bigot.
          Though, I’m yet to figure out the reason why you chronicled your paternity and maternal affiliation I pray that one day you will be given an award for having multiethnic ties. I do too but I don’t think its one of the reasons why I’m a detribalized Nigerian. I believe tribalism is something worse than folly and ignorance.

          • Foxydevil
            September 19, 09:01 Reply

            Chai!
            Some people’s foolishness, is like peak milk… It is in them.
            You didn’t call me a bigot, but look at the first paragraph of your long ass write up, calling me a bigot. “just like many tribal and religious bigot and blah blah blah blah, you have and blah blah ”
            Is it that you have a disappearing memory or you can’t read properly?
            ” false Messiah ”
            Even a kindergarten would know that was a reference to NK and not Buhari….. Let me ask you something “gad the son of Asher ”
            Is buhari spearheading any agenda?
            Is Buhari asking for division ?
            Isn’t messiah synonymous to a saviour of some sort, so who exactly is Buhari saving, his country men from a country he is already a president?
            Borrow yourself some sense and stop typing rubbish.
            I mentioned my dual ethnicity to make you understand why I can’t possibly be subjective. You talking of Taking Awards and other stuffs only further proves to me, that you are childish and immature and that I wasted a good amount of my energy and time bantering with someone so wrapped up in his own facade of ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
            With that I bid you farewell, if you can summon the courage to still reply after this, you’ll be replying to my back walking out of this foolishness I entangled myself with, in this bright beautiful morning. ?

  5. Delle
    September 18, 09:00 Reply

    And that’s how I fell in love with Jolie.

  6. Gad
    September 19, 03:56 Reply

    While reading this post,three possibilities came to my mind. First, I was wandering if the admin has joined politics and has chosen PDP as a party. Secondly, PDP or treasury looters must have had a dinner with him. Lastly, he has been too busy with LGBTQ issues to really follow and have a true grasp of happenings in the polity.
    However, if time permits me and if Pinky will allow it,I will write an article on my perspectives on the economy and the so called marginalization/tyranny of PMB

    • Foxydevil
      September 19, 05:02 Reply

      Lol.
      What a senseless person!
      What does this article have to do with PMB?
      This was definitely a slight at kanu and the presumptuous people that think he is their Messiah.
      Only your delusional mind brought PMB into this discussion.
      I don’t even like pinky that much as an individual but no one runs a cleaner blog than he does.
      He gives everyone priority, seldom takes side and never silences opposition.
      He is famed for his rationality and objectivity and even beyond this blog ,he is highly respected.
      Concocting such despicable lies to debase his integrity, sadly will not work.
      ” he has been too busy with LGTBQ issues to really follow and blah blah blah ”
      Hahahahahaha hahahahahaha, that’s a very bold statement to use on someone about a hundred times smarter than you in every ramification.
      Sheesh ?.

      • Yazz Soltana
        September 19, 12:11 Reply

        You don’t like foxy that much as a person???
        Hmmm, please clean your mouth…

      • Gad
        September 19, 17:36 Reply

        Your wisdom is quite legendary but I don’t envy you at all because to call you foolish will be an insult to fools. On an anonymous blog where people drops comments and carry on ,you are admitting your dislike for someone? Chai. See sense. I’m sure if sane folks had a foreknowledge that this is how you will turn out,they wouldn’t have wasted resources celebrating the birth of a mannerless idiot. I can imagine how bitter your life has been to the extent that you can’t even sense the humor in my reference to Pinky.

  7. Kamar
    September 20, 11:53 Reply

    Didn’t know KD’s back. Now that the drapes are pulled to the sides again, let that new morning sun baptize
    me and I shall be glorious once again… Lemme go catch-up on all I have missed. Mean while, Gad, can I buy you a drink?

    • Gad
      September 20, 14:49 Reply

      Thanks. If you are in Abuja we can have drinks together

        • Gad
          September 21, 01:32 Reply

          We will always pour libations for you before we start drinking. Running this blog is no mean fit.

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