Angelina Jolie’s self-penned directorial debut, In the Land of Blood and Honey, initially caused controversy upon its announcement. Largely due to an apparent narrative misconception, Jolie was originally denied access to filming in Bosnia, although these rights were later restored.
Detailing a relationship between a Bosnian war victim and a Serbian war criminal, Jolie’s film also found itself criticised by those affected directly by the conflict, with many questioning, and taking issue with, the central relationship.
Amidst the media furore over the ‘Brangelina’ brand, it’s easy to forget that not only is Jolie an Oscar winner (for her work in Girl Interrupted) as well as being nominated for Best Actress for TheChangeling , but is also heavily involved in working for the UN as a Goodwill Ambassador: qualifications that, one would hope, make her capable of producing a sensitive, well-directed piece of work.
Certainly the trailer impresses in its stark cinematic nature: many critics have already linked the film to an awards win for Jolie. The narrative looks largely involving, and the acting looks promising.
Putting the film itself aside, it is the gender of the film’s writer and director that interests me the most: female directors are still sadly lacking in Hollywood, hopefully Jolie’s film will help to resolve this.