Excerpted from OtherWords.
Angelina Jolie’s writing and directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” snubbed by the Oscars and screened in very few U.S. theaters, isn’t generating the blockbuster actress’s usual buzz. It deserves better.
“Blood and Honey” hinges on a personal relationship between a man and woman from opposing sides of the Bosnia war in the 1990s. Even before filming began, Bosnian women’s groups expressed outrage about the possible portrayal of a romance between a perpetrator and victim. They accused Jolie, a well-established global humanitarian advocate, of exploiting the war.
The accusations were “very painful, especially that women would think that I would not honor them properly,” Jolie has said.
Graced with remarkable acting by actors from the region speaking in their native languages, this is no love story. It merely uses the bond between the two main characters to expose the truths of a complicated conflict. Jolie’s ability to unearth difficult stories buried below the public consciousness is what makes “Blood and Honey” so compelling.
The film offers a glimpse of the war and atrocities that took place in the former Yugoslavia. It bears important lessons for the tragedies now unfolding in places like Sudan and Syria.
Similar to “Hotel Rwanda,” which depicted the 1994 African genocide, “Blood and Honey” demonstrates why documenting and acknowledging atrocities just isn’t enough. Actions by individuals and the global community are critical.
To view Allyson Neville-Morgan’s column in its entirety, visit OtherWords.