How would you respond if someone made a film of the worst years of your life? One without a hero written in. One that showed, vividly, the unbalanced nature of what happened?
Angelina Jolie, in her directorial debut, created the film “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” It is an unflinching look at the Bosnian/Serb war that depicts it all – but through the complications of a love story. When news of her choosing this story came out oh-so-long-ago, there was just shock and anger that she would do this. A lot of that shock and anger came from people who were not directly involved in the war. Ummmmm…there was a strong American reaction, I do believe, towards her making it and a lot of hope that she would fall flat on her face. She is after all – wealthy, beautiful, with a solid relationship and an obvious direction and purpose in life. Just the type of person we struggle with wanting to be like and wanting to find out they have some strange, dark demons that make them less than us. We are conflicted about people with identity and purpose.
“In the Land of Blood and Honey” was screened today, in Sarajevo, to an audience of 5,000 people. When it was done and Jolie came out (terrified), all 5,000 rose to their feet and gave her a standing ovation. An ovation for her, in making a very, fine film with a daring story; and I suspect, for themselves, for being allowed to remember without apology. The wounds from that war are still healing, but the war has been forgotten by most because there have been so many others since.
I wonder what would happen if more artists dared to tell stories that allowed the world to re-examine their pain without dressing it up with heroes and monsters? I wonder what would happen if there was more opportunity to be able to revisit our pain and see it from a distance, rather than just look for the next new pain (that is not ours) to prove it was not so bad?
I wonder what would happen if we put less emphasis on forgetting,
And just chose to remember and be….
Would the news be the same today?
c.2012. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.