Angelina Jolie’s dramatic directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey, a film she wrote as well as directed, tells the love story between Serbian soldier Danijel (Goran Kostic) and a Muslim woman named Ajla (Zana Marjanovic) and how the war between their two people makes it impossible for that love to flourish.
It’s an incredibly mature film for a first-time narrative filmmaker, one that shows you some of the worst horrors of the war in Bosnia, a war that’s mainly been overlooked and overshadowed in this country, one in which Muslim women were raped and used as human shields.
ComingSoon.net attended the press conference for Jolie’s new movie, where the actress-turned-filmmaker was joined by Kostic, Marjanovic, Rade Serbedzija, Vanessa Glodjo, Alma Terzic, Nikola Djuricko and Ermin Sijamija, the latter who was a soldier in the war but on the opposite side of the soldier he plays in Jolie’s film.
Moderated by NPR News’ Tom Gjelten, who has written extensively about the war in Sarajevo, the roughly 53-minute press conference took some time to get going, but you can watch the entire thing below where some of the things discussed include:
* One particularly disturbing scene and how the actors recreated things they experienced
* Whether there were any scenes where it seemed like magic happened
* On whether she considers her movie a “Romeo and Juliet” story
* The decision to shoot the film both in English and Bosnian
* How important is it for her that her first movie as a director is successful
(That was my question, for those interested)
* Getting the harder scenes done without having to do too many takes
* Incorporating paintings into the story
* Whether she identifies with the women of Bosnia
The last 25 minutes or so is made up of testimonials by Jolie’s Bosnian cast, talking about their own experiences with the war. Former soldier Ermin Sijamija had some really moving stories, particularly when asked, “What makes a good soldier?”
In the Land of Blood and Honey opens in select cities on Friday, December 23 and in other cities in the New Year.