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In the Land of Blood and Honey: The Muslim Cleansing in Serbia 1992-8
Angelina Jolie is one sex symbol that write and direct.
Her directorial debut is the awesome, startling, "In the Land of Blood and Honey", the only film made on the horrid ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Serbia\Bosnia in 1992-98. For many, they vaguely recall this event as we all went about our lives oblivious to the mass murder of innocent Muslims. It was the modern version of Hitler's Jew extermination. You might had not been born yet, maybe only 10, maybe in high school, in college or just working, as more than 10,000 Muslim Serbs were subjected to murder. Most of the men were just gathered and shot for a mass grave. Many of the better looking women or teens, were gathered like cattle and stored in warehouses for the Serb soldiers to rape them when called. Gang rapes were common. God forbid if you had a baby. They were immediately killed. While these people just hoping to survive, the rest of the world was afraid to become involve. Finally, the UN did, but the cleansing continued unabated. It was until President Clinton sent the US airforce in did the Serbs begin to cower and fail. That was not until 1998. Today, Clinton still thinks his greatest error then was waiting, being afraid to stop it earlier.
The movie is a must watch. I give it a solid 3 to 4 stars. The actors are all unknown, but are superb. The movie happens in war, but it is not much about it. It really is a love story between an artistic, beautiful Muslim woman and a Serbian man. The love begins before any of the cleansing begins, and then it comes. The Serb is the son of the General commanding the Serbian Army and he knows nothing of the son's love interest until late in the movie. When the woman is rounded up and sent to a warehouse, using his rank, he protects her and tries to continue love that had begun before. Throughout the movie, both are constantly conflicted with what is happening between them and what is happening around them until both are confused.
The one time she violated by another Serb soldier at the request of his father, the son pretends it is all cool until alone. Then he kills his friend. When the woman is told to escape, she refuses because she feels protected. The climax comes when the Serb soldier leaves a building and is nearly killed by a bomb set by her sister (who lost her baby early in the movie-they just tossed it from a six story building). Thinking his lover was in on it, he confronts her. They argue, they fight. He pulls out his pistol. Aims. He no longer can trust her. Pop, she is killed. Having killed they ONE thing he loved, he turns himself to the UN to escape the madness.
The movie is intense and grips your total attention. There are mass executions, rapes, war zone landscapes among the islands of love between a Serb and Muslim. For Ms. Jolie, it was out of love that she did the movie because it cost $10 million and only grossed $300,000.