In the Land of Blood and Honey
Angeline Jolie's excellent Bosnian war drama Discuss this article
We’ve seen Angelina Jolie hang out of cars and shoot people, raid tombs in form-fitting tops and appear as the more substantial part of a globally famous twosome. But if her celebrity has brought this tough Bosnian war drama into being, then the whole Brangelina thing can’t be half bad.
Jolie’s In the Land of Blood and Honey is an admirably complex take on the horror of camps where Serb militia men performed ritual humiliations upon Bosnian women. This isn’t material to be traipsed over, nor clopped on earnestly, and Jolie’s original script – yes – finds a deft personalisation to the crisis in delicate artist Ajla (Marjanovic), a prisoner, and conflicted Danijel (Kostic, terrific), a Serb officer who once escorted her on a pre-war date. Now he keeps Ajla as his exclusive plaything, ostensibly to protect her from worse offenders.
Occasionally, the movie italicises its points with heavy musical drones, but its tone is remarkably even and concentrated. It makes sense that Jolie excels at stewarding the scenes she usually tears apart on screen: two people struggling in an emotional death grip, the camera up close.By Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out Dubai,