Exploring locations used in filming Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father


Angelina Jolie’s film—about the Khmer Rouge regime that killed one quarter of the population of Cambodia between the years of 1975 and 1979—is based on a memoir by human-rights activist Loung Ung, who was 5 years old when the Khmer Rouge came to power. The film was produced by Netflix and released worldwide September 2017.

Set in 1975, the film depicts 5-year-old Ung who is forced to be trained as a child soldier while her siblings are sent to labor camps by the Khmer Rouge Regime.

The movie is set in Phnom Penh and rural countryside areas. As the Khmer Rouge took control of the capital, residents of the city were expelled and forced into grueling labour camps and work for the production of rice.

Director Angelian Jolie and a crew blended with Hollywood and Cambodian talent did most of the filming for the movie just outside of Siem Reap where we see the countryside and village scenes. Scenes that were set in Phnom Pehn were shot in Battambang.

For many years we have been operating adventure tours that explore many of the same areas that were used in the making of the movie. It is an incredible place that we are fortunate to call home and share with visitors from around the world.  Here’s a little insight into the incredible locations used for the filming of First They Killed My Father.



The movie follows residents of Phnom Penh as they are forced to leave the city. This was filmed in Battambang as we can see the Governor’s House in the background. Much quieter and less congested than Phnom Penh, Battambang made for an ideal location to shoot as it has much of the French colonial architecture that was popular during that time.

Battambang is a quaint and charming provincial capital today. Located in Cambodia’s largest rice producing area, there is plenty of history, culture and tradition to discover making this French colonial town a nice place to visit on your trip to Cambodia.


Much of the French colonial architecture of Battambang resembles Phnom Penh during the 1970’s.
Bellow we see a shot from the movie as the lead character  Ung reaches to the sky as a helicopters passes overheard.


The crew of the film did an excellent job recreating the time period in Cambodia.
Jeeps we use on tour were used in the making of the movie.


Siem Reap

Bellow is a scene from First They Killed My Father as residents were oppressively forced to walk into
rural areas for their assigned work camps, many walked for days on end.
Most people still uncertain of their fate. The scene was filmed on a quiet road on the outskirts of Siem Reap.


In the clip of the film shown bellow, we see people work the rice fields for harvest.
The mountain in the background is known as Phnom Bok located outside of Siem Reap.


We have been showcasing our culture and exploring this incredible area for years with guests from around the world.
Here we stop to take a photo of the incredible Phnom Bok and the surrounding countryside that was used in the making of the movie.


Exploring the countryside and village life today as it is today on tour. Traditional farming techniques are still used today,
many of the similar methods can be seen throughout the film.


We explore the area where many of the village scenes were filmed. 9th century temple Bakong is nearby.
Many of the village and forest scenes were shot in and around this area.


Villages scenes shown bellow in the movie of the work camp filmed near Bakong temple.


We visit 9th century Bakong temple outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Many of the scenes of Angelina Jolie’s movie First They Killed My Father were filmed in the nearby area.


Posted on September 20, 2017, in Cambodia Jeep Tours, Cambodia tours, day tours, Film, Sabai Adventures Cambodia, Siem Reap tour, Siem Reap tours and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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