In the Land of Blood and Honey by Angelina Jolie

Dec 23, 2011


Why She Wrote the Script

“I wanted to make a film that would express, in an artistic way, my frustrations with the international community’s failure to intervene in conflicts in a timely and effective manner. I also wanted to explore and understand the Bosnian War, as well as broader issues such as women in conflict, sexual violence, accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and the challenge of reconciliation. It was the deadliest war in Europe since World War II, but sometimes people forget the terrible violence that happened in our time, in our generation, to our generation.”

Finding theVoice

“I went to people in the various governments, people in the international community, the UN and journalists who covered the war, and I asked, ‘Is this right?’ But the most important voices were the people from the area, the actors. They lived through the war. Although the people who covered the story—international journalists, international politicians—had important views, the people who were on the ground, whose families were affected, who were shot at, who were made refugees—they were the ones that I was the most nervous to send the script to and whose opinion I most valued.”

Casting Process

“When the roles were being cast, we had the casting director ask the actors what they’d gone through, what their backgrounds were,” she says. “I wanted to cast a Bosnian Serb as the lead actor, and a Bosnian Muslim or someone from a mixed family as the lead actress. I also wanted men from Serbia willing to work on the project, not just Bosnian Serbs. That country’s involvement artistically was very important to me.”

“The cast didn’t know who was behind the film, or the size of it; I kept my name off the scripts. I just wanted to know if they were responding to the material.”