Issue: Aug 2012

In the Land of Blood and Honey / Starring Zana Marjanović

  • In the Land of Blood and Honey

It’s brutal, intense and disturbing long after the credits roll. Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut is a harrowing look at the brutalities of the Bosnian war (1992-95) that tore apart the Balkan region.

Opening in a nightclub in Sarajevo, we find Ajla (Zana Marjanović), a Bosniak Muslim painter, and Danijel (Goran Kostić), a Bosnian Serb policeman, happily dancing and laughing and flirting on what seems to be a date going well—till a bomb rips through the club, killing several and leaving others fatally wounded. This is a portentous sign of things to come, and in a couple of months Ajla is taken prisoner by Bosnian Serb soldiers and thrown into a detention camp with other women. The women are often used and abused by the soldiers in crude, cruel ways and it must be said that some of the scenes in this section are hard to stomach.

Luckily for Ajla, though, Danijel is overseeing this camp and he ensures that she falls under his protection as a ‘personal servant’—making it known that no other soldier has the right to touch her. Soon, they find themselves in a passionate, complex relationship, one that the complexities of war threaten to tear apart.

Showcasing staggering performances by both leads, this war-time love story was reportedly developed by Jolie from an idea she got after travelling to Bosnia as a UN goodwill ambassador. In fact, several members of the cast are actual survivors of the war, with some of their experiences even incorporated into the film.

Read more in the August 2012 issue of Hi! BLITZ – the no.1 Lifestyle magazine.

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This article first appeared in August 2012 issue of Hi! BLITZ magazine

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