Film: In the Land of Blood and Honey
Written/Directed/Produced by Angelina Jolie
I went into this film as a 23 year old Croatian American Roman Catholic woman. I have danced with a Croatian junior tamburitzan group since I was 10. I have some prior knowledge of the Bosnian War that occurred in the 90s.
What Angelina did to bring to light the injustices and raw pain brought upon the Bosnian Muslims is heart wrenching. Be warned: the film is RAW. Five minutes into it and a group of women were taken to a camp, and promptly raped as they got off of the bus. Seriously. The “love story” is kind of hard to follow, in that you don’t know which side either is on personally. The actors portraying Ajla and Danijel were absolutely wonderful and real.
The film has taken a lot of heat from Serbians for making them “look bad”, but the fact of the matter is, the Serbs were the ones who started the war. Their ethnic cleansing was wrong. The raping of over 50,000 (yes, that is the correct amount of zeroes on that number) women was DEFINITELY wrong. It wasn’t the film that made Serbians look bad…it was their actions in this heinous and unnecessary war. I understand that it is hard to watch the wrong doings of one’s country and not get upset about it, and I’m sure that Jolie took some creative and artistic liberties with some of the facts, but she was only doing so to draw necessary attention to a war that is often overlooked in schools. Many people I know have never even heard of Bosnia, Croatia, or Serbia let alone do they know that there was a horrendous war there less than 20 years ago.
While this film shook me to my core (and made me a little afraid of my Serbian friends (hey, kids! love ya!)), I applaud Angie for bringing this war to light and highlighting the atrocities that occurred. I most definitely recommend this film to any who are considering watching it.