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Angelina Jolie's Bosnian partners aim to soothe emotions before cameras roll

October 19, 2010 |  2:46 pm

Jolie Angelina Jolie’s Balkans war movie is on track again with government approval to film in Bosnia, but her local producer is still trying to soothe emotions (and perhaps stave off protests) before the Hollywood star starts shooting there in a few weeks.

Edin Sarkic of Scout Film, who’s serving as executive producer and location manager for the Bosnian part of the as-yet-untitled film, said Tuesday that Jolie (who is writing and directing the movie but isn't starring in it) plans to meet with Bosnian rape victims who have voiced protests. The women were upset by reports that the movie revolves around a Bosnian Muslim woman being raped by, and then falling in love with, a Serb soldier during the 1992-95 war. Their protests prompted the government to suspend approval for filming last week until Sarkic submitted a full script for review.

Jolie, who is currently filming in Budapest, Hungary, wants to communicate to the Bosnian women that she is sensitive to their concerns.

“Angelina will come to Sarajevo and she will talk to the women. She will explain everything to them and they will understand that they have nothing to worry about,” Sarkic said. “She is a goodwill ambassador. She loves this country.”

Sarkic said Jolie “would come today if she could.... But the woman is directing the movie. She cannot abandon the set in Budapest and come here. But as soon as she can, she will come here to talk to the women.” (Jolie's partner, Brad Pitt, was spotted on the set over the weekend.)

Pitt Sarkic said that Jolie’s film was being subjected to intense scrutiny and that it was highly unusual to be asked to submit a full script for review.  “At no other place in the world they would ask for the script. One is required to give a synopsis, not a script,” he said. “The script is a work in progress. One can change it during the filming, one can change it during the editing. By the premiere, a script can be changed 13,000 times. But they wanted the script and we gave them the script.”

Asked if he expects protests or other problems once filming begins in Bosnia, Sarkic sidestepped the question, saying only: "We love Angelina. We cannot wait to see her in Sarajevo."

The controversy over the film has yet to fade from the headlines in Bosnia. But local newspapers this week published some accounts of the script that seemed likely to lessen the outrage of Bosnian Muslims.

[Spoiler alert: the movie's ending is revealed on the next page.]

On Monday Dnevni Avaz, the largest Bosnian daily, ran an article under the headline: "We disclose: The rapist kills the [Bosnian Muslim] woman at the end of Angelina's film and admits that he is war criminal."

The article quoted an unnamed source "who had the opportunity to read the whole script" and who "stressed that Jolie portrayed the army that carried out aggression on Bosnia in an exceptionally authentic way.”

The paper also said that Fedja Stukan, a Bosnian actor who is in the film, confirmed "that according to the script, the Serb man kills the Bosniak women at the end." (Bosniak refers to Bosnian Muslims.) It quoted him as saying "I don't know what the problem is if a Serb kills a Bosniak. That is what everybody wants to see."

While that may sound odd, in the complex environment of postwar Bosnia, that is actually what Bosnian Muslims want to see.

Bosnia remains deeply divided along ethnic lines and the divisions have been most apparent in the perceptions of the war and its causes. Bosnian Muslims see the conflict as a war of Serbian aggression; Serbs view it as a civil war. If Serbs are portrayed as aggressors or war criminals in the film,  Bosnian Muslims will likely see it as in harmony with their view of the conflict.

 --  Zoran Cirjakovic 

Photos, from top: Angelina Jolie signs an autograph in Budapest last week; Brad Pitt, in sunglasses, is seen among members of the crew on the scene of Angelina Jolie's film in Budapest on Sunday. Credit: Bea Kallos/Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (5)

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The concept of the film is pathetic; Hollywood trying to communicate and psychologically relate to victims of vicious war? Angelina Jolie is an unintellectual, over payed "ambassador" of idiocy. I will reject the pain and humiliation of watching this revolting film.

Just because you don't like the idea of something doesn't make it pathetic. If you don't like the concept of it simply don't see the movie. If you were the least bit intellectual the you would realize that you portrayed yourself as an idiot by speaking so ignorantly about a movie.

I highly doubt that is the real ending; that's something they whipped up for the bosnian officials to make sure they got their film permit.

That is what irks me most about Angelina, she is too much of an opportunist and ego maniac.

Ego maniac is the word. The woman can't act, so I understand trying another career. But directing AND writing??? Wow, you sure are full of yourself Angie.

It's very sad that such a beaten up place now will have yet another horrible example of western aloofness.

Well, I saw photos of the Serbian soldiers from Angie movie, they are ot real like tey were in the war. They are too nice, to civilised for real Serbian soldiers, chetniks. Jolie movie scenario is too stupid. Bosniak women falling in love in Serbian soldier? Just check photo from real Serbian soldiers, and you will know how stupid is scenario of the Jolie's movie. I want to see women who will falling in love in those kind of the soldiers, even if we are able to call them soldiers.

Serbian soldiers from Jolie movie

Real Serbian soldiers during war in former Yugoslavia



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