27 December 2011
IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY
I was fortunate to tune in to the PBS talk show Charlie Rose last week, when he interviewed actor Angelina Jolie on the occasion of the release of the first film she's directed, In The Land of Blood and Honey. I have enormous respect for Jolie as both an actor and a humanitarian. She is falsely portrayed in tabloids as egocentric and shallow, when in fact the 37-year-old actor has not only won numerous awards for her work, but is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The film's premise is a love story set during the Bosnian War, when Muslim Bosniaks, Orthodox Christian Serbs, and Catholic Croats ~ ethnic factions which had lived as friends and neighbors and had intermarried in pre-war Yugoslavia ~ became alienated and polarized. Murder, rape, and ultimately genocide were the result.
This is not ancient history. The war occurred between 1992 and 1995, and for most of that time the world stood by and did nothing. Precisely because these events happened so recently (as have similar wars and genocides in other parts of the world), Jolie "wrote and directed the film to rekindle attention for the survivors." The movie was shot on location, using Bosniak, Serb, and Croat actors who had lived through the events protrayed.
I invite you to watch Rose's interview with Jolie and three of her actors. A disturbing subject is discussed with empathy and intelligence. Simply click here for the web page, then click again on Jolie's picture to start the video. A written transcript appears below the video.