The Land of
Blood and Honey
Some actors making the foray into writing and directing might look to
take the less controversial, easier, smaller scale path of making a
lighthearted romantic comedy or a holiday-themed TV movie just in time
for Christmas, but not Angelina Jolie. Her new movie, In
The Land Of Blood And Honey is
about one of the worst wars you never read or heard about.
Set in Sarajevo during the 1990's war in the former Yugoslavia, Zana
Marjanovic stars as Ajla - a Muslim woman full of life and love. Before
the war, she met a Serbian soldier, Danijel (Goran Kostic), and romance
might have blossomed, but circumstance and the horrors of this conflict
Now, with war fully engaged, and the Serbs carrying out unspeakable
atrocities, Ajla has been captured, and finds herself imprisoned in the
camp run by Danijel.
How could Danijel and Ajla find that love again in this place?
Can either one trust the other?
In The Land
Of Blood And Honey is a daring
and ambitious undertaking for a first time writer and director as Jolie
disturbingly shows the audience the horrible atrocities of that war
(and genocide), while Kostic and Marjanovic engage in a very delicate
dance showing us the two war torn lovers divided by their loyalties,
connected by their feelings for each other, and questioning each one's
veracity and intentions.
Jolie's script makes the relationship between the two complicated, but
Marjanovic and Kostic make us believe it. At times, you can't imagine
how the two could ever be separated as they work through the worst of
situations relying on each other's strength and love. Yet, they also
show the conflicting feelings they have as each one seems to be using
the other for another purpose.
I think Jolie plays on that delicate dance a few too many times, as we
see betrayal after reconciliation after betrayal after reconciliation
to the point where you can't believe we are going down this road again,
but, as a director, shocks you with the brutality and human suffering
playing out on screen. It's a tough movie, but it must be.
The Land Of Blood And Honey is rated R for war violence and atrocities
including rape, sexuality, nudity and language.