Angelina Jolie’s “In The Land of Blood and Honey,” the controversial love story set against the bitter ethnic strife in Bosnia, is previewed in a new trailer that shows moments of tenderness and brutal street fighting.
Jolie wrote and directed the film about a love affair between a Serbian rape camp administrator and a woman who is a Bosnian, sworn enemies of the Serbs.
The nature of the plot was so volatile a Bosnian women’s group campaigned against the film, claiming that it would portray a Bosnian rape victim falling in love with her Serbian rapist.
The country endured a brutal war between 1992 and 1995 that involved widespread atrocities and mass genocide.
The war was rooted in thousands of years of hatred stemming back to the Muslim invasion of the region. Today, Bosnians are mostly Muslim while Serbs are mostly Christian.
Bosnian officials briefly suspended the film’s permit in October in the face of protest. But reinstated it after being assured that the movie was a love story and did not involve rape.
Nontheless, Jolie cut short shooting in Bosnia and several scenes were filmed in Hungary.
Jolie works as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, and has been to the region several times to examine the plight of refugees from the war.
Local actors Goran Kostic and Zana Marjanovic play the two lovers.
Kostic recently told Vanity Fair that he was kept in the dark initially about Jolie’s role in the film.
“You’re an actor, you audition, and they don’t tell you who it is, you know it’s somebody from the top. I had no idea,”
“Later, when they told us Angelina Jolie wrote the script, I was quite pleasantly surprised to see how she was able to put all of it together.”
The clip opens with a panoramic scene of the region, and then cuts to the two lovers in bed, lamenting how the country was before the war.
Then, it quickly cuts to street fighting with Kostic dodging bullets. There’s no mistake a war is going on.
Then, it’s back to another intimate embrace. “Why couldn’t you have been born a Serb,” the lead says, a remark that is sure to raise eyebrows in Bosnia.
The film hits theaters on December 23rd. Check out the trailer below.