Friday, January 6, 2012

Movie with Abe: In the Land of Blood and Honey

In the Land of Blood and Honey
Directed by Angelina Jolie
Released December 23, 2011

Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut is not what one might expect. “In the Land of Blood and Honey” is a stark, sober portrait of a doomed love story set during the Bosnian War in the mid-1990s. It’s hardly a film for everyone, given its extensive disturbing thematic and visual content. Its depiction of heinous war crimes is reminiscent of two other affecting 2011 films, “5 Days of War” and “The Whistleblower.” Its specific plot centers on one strong-willed Muslim woman, Ajla, who had a romance before the war with a Serbian policeman, Danijel, that continues and evolves in a peculiar way as they end up on opposite sides. The complicated relationship is similar to that presented in Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” and Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” though hardly as trivial as either of those. Jolie utilizes an impressive cast of actors from the former Yugoslavia, speaking in their native languages, with one only remotely recognizable face, Rade Serbedzija, who played essentially the same part in “5 Days of War” as a tyrannical general eager to move forward with ethnic cleansing. The film might be far more unsettling and upsetting than inspirational, but it does serve as an important tribute to those that lost their lives in a senseless conflict, and as a film with a greater message about the banality of war.


No comments: