Published December 15, 2011
Angelina Jolie is proud of her gut-wrenching directorial debut “In The Land of Blood and Honey,” a drama centered on a young woman who falls in love with her captor during the Bosnian War. But bringing to life such a controversial story has taken its toll on the Oscar winner.
“I felt very grateful that I had the chance to have this movie made, but we all made it together and influenced each other. It was only a week ago that I sat down alone before we started to show it… I have been so terribly worried in the months before the film just to get it right because it means so much, it is so sensitive and is so important,” Jolie told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “The cast isn’t just a group of actors, they lived through this – this is their history. The burden of that has been really hard, so I am genuinely relieved to be all here together and getting it right.”
Jolie made the film to channel her own “frustrations with the international community’s failure to intervene in conflicts in a timely and effective manner.”
“It was the deadliest war in Europe since WWII, but sometimes people forget the terrible violence that happened in our time, in our generation, to our generation,” she said.
Jolie also stressed that such abhorrent sexual violence and conflict is still brewing in parts of the world today, and we all can’t keep turning a blind eye.
“These themes are universal, we need to understand that there are places bubbling up now that we need to prevent, we need to reflect on the past and understand what we’ve learned,” she said. “The very minimal changes in justice from WWII to Rwanda to Bosnia to the Congo today, these small steps are incremental steps in moving us forward.”
Despite the weighty content of the highly-anticipated drama, the high-powered showbiz personality was all smiles as she chatted away.
“When you deal with something so real and so heavy, with people who really lived through this and lost family members, it is so painful and real that it brings out a lot of kindness and love,” Jolie explained.
Although she’s only now beginning to soak in the success of what she has managed to accomplish, the movie – from start to finish – seems to have spiraled from one headache to another for its world-famous screen siren. Firstly, Jolie was refused access to sound stages and studio sets owned by Serbian tycoon and media magnate Željko Mitrović; a Bosnian official canceled the production’s filming permit citing incomplete paperwork; and last week Croatian author James Braddock filed a plagiarism lawsuit against Jolie, alleging that the star stole the idea from a book he published in 2007.
This week, Branislav Djukic of the Bosnian Serb Association of Camp Prisoners has called for a ban on “Blood and Honey” in the Serbian-run part of the country. Djukic told the Associated Press on Tuesday that while he has seen only the trailer, he has already determined that Jolie’s depiction "is showing lies" and portraying Serbs as the only ones who raped women during the war.
Jolie seems unfazed.
“Just to start a dialogue was our goal, even if we can’t agree, even if someone has a very strong opinion different from ours, that’s okay because we’re going to discuss it and not be silent,” she added. “So many people around the world who have gone through these things don’t want to talk about it, it is too painful and they think, ‘what is there to accomplish by talking about it? Let’s just move forward.’ But we really must talk about these things; try to figure out where our feelings are and how to better address it. We have no answers here; we are just hoping to bring up the debate.