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Film review: ‘The Land of Blood and Honey’

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Angelina Jolie’s writing and directing debut, ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey,’ is riddled with problems.
Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Details

In the Land of Blood and Honey
Two stars
Zana Marjanovic, Goran Kostic, and Rade Serbedzija
Directed by Angelina Jolie
Rated R
Beyond the Weekly
Official Movie Site
IMDb: In the Land of Blood and Honey
Rotten Tomatoes: In the Land of Blood and Honey

The politically responsible instincts that led Angelina Jolie to star in movies like Beyond Borders (2003) and A Mighty Heart (2007) are very much behind her writing and directing debut In the Land of Blood and Honey. But in wishing to spread the word about the atrocities committed in Bosnia-Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995, she forgets to spend time on things like logic or interesting characters. Here, the Serbian soldiers are the bad guys and the peaceful Croatian Muslims are the good guys. A Croat woman, Ajla (Zana Marjanovic), begins dating a Serbian man (Goran Kostic). During the war, she finds herself a prisoner in a camp under his command. In a crucial error, the movie isn’t clear on whether these two are supposed to be in love. Additionally, an effort to keep Ajla movie-star beautiful throughout comes off as ridiculous. The movie spends 127 minutes being shocked at its own depictions of rape and brutality.

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