People are angry about the cruel experiment Angelina Jolie played on impoverished kids

AFP/Getty Images

Angelina Jolie is one of the most famous actresses in the world and a championed humanitarian.

Since 2001 she has been attempting to help children in impoverished war-torn third-world countries.

One country that she has found a particular affection for is Cambodia. The 42-year-old adopted her first son, Maddox from the country, where she also holds citizenship.

She recently returned to the country to film her next directorial feature: First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers.

The film is a biopic of the Cambodian author and activist Loung Ung and the trauma she and her family suffered under the ruthless Khmer Rouge Communist Party.

The film will focus on Loung Ung's childhood, where she will be played by Sareum Srey Moch, an untrained actress from Cambodia.

Here is a teaser trailer for the film which will be released via Netflix.

However, her methods for casting the youngster have sparked outrage.

Vanity Fair, who spoke to Jolie for their September issue, featured in their interview the casting process for the film, which they likened to a game.

Children from orphanages, circuses and slum schools were presented with an undisclosed amount of money on a table and asked to think about what they needed the money for.

Once they had done that they were then encouraged to snatch the money away only for Jolie to pretend to catch them moments later.

When they were caught, the children were asked to come up with a lie as to why they had stolen the money.

Jolie emotionally told the magazine why Srey's audition won her the part.

Srey Moch was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time.

When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.

When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.

Vanity Fair, to their credit, do describe the auditions as "disturbing in its realism," and later add how most of the people on set found themselves personally effected by the events that were being recreated.

Jolie continues.

There wasn’t a person who was working on the movie who didn’t have a personal connection. They weren’t coming to do a job. They were walking in the exodus for the people whom they had lost in their family, and it was out of respect for them that they were going to re-create it . . . It completed something for them.

Cast and crew members reported having nightmares which lead to a therapist being recruited. Even bystanders who were not involved and were aware that there was a film being made were reportedly noticeably traumatised.

When the Khmer Rouge came over the bridge, we had a few people who really dropped to their knees and wailed. They were horrified to see them come back.

Whilst authenticity and realism in a movie of this nature is important, Jolie's methods have come under scrutiny since the publication of the article.

HT Vanity Fair Telegraph Deadline

More: This Cambodian actress was banned from films for being 'too sexy'

The Conversation (0)