News / Europe

Serbs Resent Images, Message in Angelina Jolie's Film

A poster of Angelina Jolie's 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' film in Belgrade, Feb. 24, 2012.
A poster of Angelina Jolie's 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' film in Belgrade, Feb. 24, 2012.
Dianna Cahn

Hollywood star Angelina Jolie canceled her premiere appearance in Belgrade at her film In the Land of Blood and Honey, due to threats of violence.

The movie is a love story set amid the brutal crimes of the 1992-1995 Bosnia war. But it has drawn furious headlines and condemnation in Serbia where critics say the film is biased, depicting only Serbian aggression against Bosnia’s Muslims and Croats.

In the Bosnian capital Sarajevo last week, the film received a standing ovation from the thousands in attendance. In Belgrade, the film opened on Thursday in just two theaters and without any promotional advertising.

Many Serbs say they are tired of being branded the villains by the international community, arguing that atrocities were common from all sides during the conflict.

For Ana Marjanovic, the film was “way too one sided.” Even if Jolie had wanted to make a statement, she said, “it’s lost, at least for the people in Serbia because of that, and that’s too bad.”

Many Serbs share a deep sense of frustration - one often fueled by political rhetoric - that Serbia’s image has not improved even with the passing years.

“For many Serbs it seems there is a constant campaign against Serbs that goes on in official politics, and this turmoil around the Angelina Jolie movie is only a new proof they would believe that the international community are actually against the Serbs," said history professor Predrag Markovic.

'War against civilian population'

Set during the war, the movie portrays a tragic love story between a young Bosnian woman and the Serb soldier in charge of the detention camp where she is held. The scenes of women being raped and mass killings are graphic.

Serbs have been reluctant to examine their own role in the war, but Milos Urosovic said his country needs to come to terms with the atrocities committed. "[Jolie] shows really a picture of the war in Bosnia," Urosovic said. "This was not a civil war. This was a war against civilian population.”

The film opens at a critical time in Serbia, just ahead of national elections, and at the height of frustration over Serbia’s bid to join the European Union.

Serbian nationalism

Film Director Stevan Filipovic, whose 2010 film about neo-Nazi football hooligans won acclaim, said the nationalist ideology in Serbia has left little room for public debate.

"The nationalists are just finding the ways to promote their idea," he said. "All the hype about the film that Angelina Jolie made as a director is not actually directed at the movie itself.”

Markovic and other critics say they are not denying what happened during the war. But they point to crimes committed by other sides.

Jolie said she hoped her film about rape and brutality in the Bosnia war would open dialogue in the scarred region. At the cinema in Belgrade Thursday night, most Serbs said that the film did little more than underscore the worst stereotypes.




You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid