Posted on Wednesday, November 17th, 2010 by Germain Lussier
Angelina Jolie, the writer/director, is already seeing what life is like on the other side of the camera. The world’s most famous actress is currently directing her feature film debut, an untitled love story about a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman who get separated during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War during which 100,000 people were killed. The film stars Rade Šerbedžija and Zana Marjanovic and Jolie was even able to get her significant other, Brad Pitt, to do a cameo.
Jolie had planned on shooting several scenes in Bosnia but had to cut the number of days down significantly when rumors broke out that the film was actually about a rape victim falling in love with her rapist. That rumor set off protests from woman’s organizations who were unhappy with the content and, though the rumors proved untrue, the production decided to move from Bosnia to Budapest. Read more after the jump.
The Associated Press and Reuters both reported on this story. Apparently, once the woman’s organizations got wind of the rumored storyline, they put pressure on city officials to have the film’s permits revoked. They were successful and though the permits were reinstated a few days earlier, producers decided it would just be easier to move the production to Budapest where they were filming some scenes anyway.
“The American producers have decided that scenes at 12 locations planned in Sarajevo should be shot in Budapest after the permit had been canceled and then reinstated,” said Jolie’s Bosnian producer Edin Sarkic, not addressing the protests.
Jolie faced the controversy head on, exchanging letters with the woman’s organizations to address their issues. In the Reuters report she said “there are many twists in the plot that address the sensitive nature of the relationship between the main characters” and then in the AP report said she would “like the opportunity to speak with them to personally clear up any misunderstandings about this project.”
To truly understand this story, we might need additional context. Obviously we understand the horrific nature of rape but we many have no concept of just how big an issue it is in Bosnia. According to the AP report, “Mass rape was a taboo topic in the immediate aftermath of the country’s 1992-95 war between Serb and Bosnian Muslim forces but since then victims have formed a group to campaign for their rights, which has become one of the country’s most powerful lobbies.”
While rape is obviously a taboo and frightening topic, it’s an eye opening fact that this was such a major issue during the war. On the flip side, it’s also inspiring that the victims have turned something very negative into something very positive.
Do you agree with their concerns about Jolie’s film and understand why they wanted the movie out? How about the producer’s decision to move it?