Angelina Jolie Speaks About Ethnic Emotions In Bosnia In Her New Film

The actress’s directorial debut evoked criticism and praise in Bosnia, showing the reality of the Balkans conflict.

Angelina Jolie had her directorial debut last month. Photo: sislivadi/ Flickr

She is a woman well-known almost to everybody as one of the highest-paid actresses of the present. However, this time Angelina Jolie who almost lives on the red carpet has discovered herself in a new role: now she is a film’s director who is trying to tell story of love and war in Bosnia.

Even before ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’ was released, the actress proved that she is good at being a director as well as at playing: she won the Producers’ Guild of America specia award for portrayal of social issues.

Nevertheless, Jolie’s debut, ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’, was met with unexpected critical acclaim that a future for the actress behind the camera and on screen now looks certain.

The film, which premier was in New York this month, is already considered to be a potential nominee for a Stanley Kramer award for work in the cinema that draws attention to injustice and social issues. By the way, last week the film also received a Golden Globe nomination. And Oscar-winner’s film has been judged by critics as an authentic attempt to inform and entertain.

“It’s clear within the first few minutes of ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’, a blunt and brutal look at genocide and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early 1990s, that this is a serious piece of work and not simply a vanity project for its debuting writer-director,” said The Hollywood Reporter.

Well, Jolie’s film is not to become a hit, because of its focus on the awful war years in the former Yugoslavia, director’s ambition and her commitment to the difficult project make critics wonder what she will film next.

Jolie at the premiere that, while she loved acting, she was happy to move on: “It is a very fun job and I have had great experiences, but my heart has been on these foreign policy issues, and my interests are there.”

“So to be able to combine them and be part of international affairs that way, working toward solutions and being part of a good dialogue with good people, felt like a nice evolution to me.”

The story filmed in two different versions –in Bosnian and n English was shot in Hungary and Bosnia just in 42 days, has reach great success that seems to have taken the star by surprise. She wrote the screenplay in a month “as an excuse to get out some of my frustrations [with] the international community and justice issues”, she has told Marie Claire magazine. “I just assumed nobody would ever see or read it.”

Jolie decided to show her film in Bosnian first, with English subtitles, and after that the story will be performed in certain selected American cinemas from Friday, coming to Britain in 2012.

The leader of a Bosnian Serb prisoners group said that the film has one-sided depiction of the atrocities and urged for it to be banned from the country’s Serbian areas.

Jolie, in respond, asked critics to reserve judgment until they saw film, adding it was “a love story, not a political statement”.

The head of the Bosnian Serb Association of Camp Prisoners, Branislav Djukic, agreed with his colleague after seeing a trailer, saying the film ‘is showing lies’ as it depicts only Serbs as rapists during the war. “We’ll do our best to ban the film,” he said.

However, Hatizda Mehmedovic, the head of an association of mothers of the 8,000 Muslim men and boys massacred at Srebrenica, thanked Jolie after the private premiere for ‘her intellectual and financial investment’.

“The film is so strong, so difficult and it would have been stronger if it was shot in Bosnia,” said the woman. [Via The Telegraph and New Kerala]

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