Jolie hopes her film draws notice to Syria


The Associated Press

US actress and director Angelina Jolie addresses journalists during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. Angelina is in Sarajevo for a screening of her film ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’

The Associated Press

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Angelina Jolie on Tuesday premiered her film “In the Land of Blood and Honey” in Bosnia, where the fictional tale of a romance between a Bosnian Serb man and a Bosnian Muslim woman has shone a spotlight on the ethnic anger still left over from the country’s brutal conflict.

Jolie, who arrived in Sarajevo with partner Brad Pitt to attend the screening, earned a standing ovation as the film began before a crowd of 5,000 people. She greeted the crowd in Bosnian, before acknowledging in English that it would bring back painful memories of the bloody 1992-95 war.

At an earlier press conference, Jolie said the movie was “heavy” but that she was happy with it because it shows what horrors can occur in the absence of a timely intervention.

She said she hoped the film could serve as a “wake-up call” for the international community to pay more attention to atrocities and act to prevent them.

“I am satisfied with what we made, I feel very strongly about it and I believe that its core issue — which is the need for intervention and need for the world to care about atrocities when they are happening — is very, very timely and especially with things that are happening in Syria today,” she said.

The film, which has already been released in the U.S. follows what happens when the man becomes an army officer and the woman is held in a military prison camp where rape occurs. Some Serbs have accused the film of demonizing them.

“I think it is very important that this film is out at this time and … if this film points the finger at anybody it is the international community,” she said.

The distributor in the Serb part of Bosnia said he won’t show it there because it portrays Serbs as the villains and they wouldn’t put up with that.

“There is simply no interest for this movie here, so I can’t sell any tickets,” Vladimir Ljevar told The Associated Press.