By Joe McGovern
July 22, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT

Natalie Portman has followed in the footsteps of her fellow Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie by directing her first feature film. A Tale of Love and Darkness, which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, is a Hebrew-language drama starring Portman as a young mother raising her son (Amir Tessler) amid the turbulence of 1940s Jerusalem, in the years before the founding of the state of Israel.

The film is based on the universally beloved memoir of Amos Oz, whose book is a collection of the dreamy fantasy stories Oz was told by his mother as a child. Portman, who was born in Israel, was drawn to this “immigrant story,” as she told EW last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, and spent 10 years writing the screenplay before doing double duty as director and star of the film.

A Tale of Love and Darkness opens in select theaters on August 19. Check out the artful trailer, above.