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Serbia: The Media War Against Angelina Jolie

Not so long ago Angelina Jolie was “more concerned” about the reception of her directorial debut movie, ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey‘, in Bosnia and Serbia than in the United States. She was eagerly awating the reactions of local audiences, whom she had portrayed in her war drama, and some of her fears turned out to be justified.

While the Bosnian public has warmly welcomed this war love story of a Serbian policeman and a Bosnian Muslim woman, the Serbian media have launched a war on the American actress, accussing her of spreading hatred toward Serbs.

Serbian daily Kurir initiated a series of articles [sr] that have seriously harmed Jolie's good reputation in Serbia:

Angelina claims in the movie that 300,000 Muslims were killed in the Bosnian war and 50,000 Muslim women were raped. The actress intends to seek the abolition of Republika Srpska as a genocidal creation. All of this was commissioned by the extreme Islamic policies, presenting Serbs as criminals, killers, murderers and rapists, and Muslims as the only victims.

Explaining the reason for Jolie's alleged pro-Muslim bias, the newspaper claimed [sr] that the movie was financially supported by Saudi direct investments of $10 million:

It is generally known that Jolie is very close to politicians in Washington. Maybe she would like the public to think it is an art film, but it is actually pure anti-Serbian propaganda. The director sends a message to the audience that Serbs are crazy wild beasts, while Muslims are innocent victims.

Momir Stojanovic, former director of the Serbian Military Intelligence Agency, also supported Kurir's claim that Muslim extremists had funded Angelina's project, saying “it is very close to the truth.”

The Serbian newspaper has triggered thousands of negative, pro-Serbian votes on imdb.com, one of the most reputable film rating sites, causing the film's score to drop drastically to 3.3 from an average of 5.4.

A screenshot of Jolie's film page on imdb.com.

A screenshot of Jolie's film page on imdb.com.

Very quickly the page of Jolie's film at imdb.com turned into a virtual battlefield between Serbs and Muslims. (In the past few days, however, 11 pages of comments have somehow been reduced to five).

Sanja_Cancar says:

Angelina needs to stick to the topics she knows about, ei: ruining marriages, stealing husbands, adopting children from around the world, wearing blood. Instead, she chose the ironic path of a “peace-ambassador” that gets involved in politics she knows nothing about and creates movies that will only create more hatred… [...]

Vitezbg observes:

Movie is full of political manipulations, lies, false informations etc.[...] Also 50.000 raped Muslim women is very disputed. It is famous case when ‘raped Sarajevo woman', gave birth of African child. Actually the father in this case was member of UN personal. [...]

Johnny NT concludes:

Well done Angie, Goebbels and Hitler would be proud of you and your fascinating work on this movie. [...]

rudeedee2 asks:

How could these people dare think to make a movie (“entertainment”) of such a horribly devastating situation ??? Seems only money is important. [...] Would Angelina Jolie want to think her family has gone through hell and lost every semblance of normalcy, experienced fear, heartbreak, death and devastation only to find a so-called movie producer sees it as an artistic capital?

psysd3 reminds Angelina of the crimes of her own people:

[...] From the very beginning, by coming to America's soil on which it is estimated that, in 1500s, there were about 12 000 000 Native Americans whose number is reduced to nearly 237 000 by 1900s [...]

Alex_Michael writes:

I guess I expected too much of Angelina. She might have black hair, but the movie sure look like put together by a blonde. Serbian Nazis who don't have problem killing anything from pets to babies on one side, and good Muslims on the other side… Example is Srebrenica where Serbs committed crimes by taking revenge after number of Serbian villages around Srebrenica were completely wiped out, and their inhabitants killed by Muslims from Srebrenica. This was well described in Norwegian documentary “Srebrenica a Town Betrayed”.

The Bosnian Muslim online community opposes the Serbian comments and supports Jolie's movie.

f_s is grateful to Angelina:

[...] Thank you Ms. Jolie for being the voice of the women depraved, humiliated and tortured. I recommend to everyone to see the movie especially women around the globe, to hear the unspoken, to witness the hidden. [...]

Sibaak adds:

[...] We, the Bosnians do not hate. We are the most peaceful nation in the world, and thats why the facts of that war are so brutal! Because we didn't believe it could happen. We didn't believe that our friends would turn against us, rape us, kill our children, take over our houses. But they did. We that lived to tell, still, just like me, believe there are good Serbs. But what really hurts is to see how many people, just like on here, people that do not have even slightest idea of the truth, are so blind, and so hateful, because it tells me that they would do it all over again. In a way I feel its good that they are showing their real faces. Showing how ignorant they are. [...]

Mela Fatkic expresses gratitude to Jolie on the movie's Facebook page. She writes:

Angelina thank you for this film, but we can not forget what it was. Thank you for the truth which not many people to reconcile, and nobody believes until they see…

Dino Gligic shares this opinion:

Angelina, thank you so much for telling the torld the truth about what Serbs did. It was worse than in that movie…

Nat Taschetti Garcia Angie admits ignorance and asks :

I just graduate on high school and i never learned about Bosnian war as i never learned about refugee camps. Do you feel like something has to be done in education, as a mom and as an activist?

Frustrated by the Serbian furious reaction, Jolie responded on Twitter:

Is it possible that the entire nation believes a concocted story from trash @KurirVesti magazine based on fake email from imaginary person?”

However, a few days later this tweet was deleted, and a new one appeared:

Don't express your love for own nation, race, religion, etc… by hating others.

On other side, Kurir pulled off the article of threatining tone: “Serbs declared war on the actress: you do not know what awaits for you Angelina” from the newspaper official site published as respond on Jolie's offensive tweet.

Jolie also tweeted this appeal:

Don't believe everything you read… “They kill good trees to put out bad newspapers.”

In an interview with Slobodna Evropa, Jolie expressed her affection for Bosnia, saying that “it is easy to be in love with Bosnia”:

I would not have created this film if Bosnikas hadn't agreed with the screenplay. I would have burned it…

Zeljko Mitrovic, the owner of Pink TV, is one of the most influental Serbs who had initially condemned Jolie because of her anti-Serbian prejudices and had even withdrawn from the movie project. Now, however, he has changed his mind:

It is wrong to attack Angelina now when the movie is finished. We could have changed something before they started making the film. Now it is pointless to generate hostility. That thing cannot be changed by additional antagonisms. She should be invited to Belgrade because people like her can help us in the future to improve the image of ourselves in the world. I invite Angelina to come to Serbia and to be a guest of TV Pink.

  • http://Www.facebook.com Melissa knutson

    i would like to start by saying that no country is peaceful. We all have some kind of war history, even bosnia. They are not innocent. This movie is outrageous because she chose to get one side of the story, a highly exaggerated side might i add. If she was going to make a movie like this she should have gotten both sides and not just the side that easily shows its prejudice. The serbians have every right to be upset and outraged over this movie because it clearly shows prejudice, ignorance, and stupidity for only getting one side. As angelina has said, ‘if the bosnians had not agreed then the script would have been ripped up’. That right there shows her ignorance and even racism. Point blank!

  • Kent Prince

    Hey there Angelina, I think you would have been better off making a movie about the plight of the Native American Indians and the Native Eskimos. How much of the Balkan History did you “read” before making the film “In the Land of Blood and Honey” Hear Say from individuals who heard this and heard that do not count. You should have read history of the Balkans which pre dated the Balkan war to get an account of what happened over there. Re: Even your secretary of State Hillary lied in relation to what happen at the airport in Bosnia. (Snipper Bullets) Footage showed Hillary hugging a young girl after touching down. Your film is a disappointment and has fanned the flames of ethnic tension, which the world thought was mending. Thank You very much.

    • guest

      Serbs are showing their true colors with their insane reaction to this film. How shocking. Congratulations, you come off just as hateful and spiteful as ever.

      • Daniel

        Why need words such as “insane” “shocking”. “hateful” “spiteful”. What would you do if your nation was presented in a such a biased way. These events are raising my doubts that this is a politically motivated “movie” whose goals are to weaken Serbia’s position in upcoming EU/Kosovo negotiations and/or push up abolition of Serbian entity within Bosnia if possible.
        As for the movie, what a disappointment and even more, I’ll put in a plain English, what a shame.

  • lynn

    I don’t understand how anyone in their right mind would not have known a movie like this would have opened healing wounds. Jolie will be lucky if lives aren’t lost over the tension she has created over this so she could add director to her “look at me” list. Who does she think she is? Just because she gives money and visits poor countries with her handy dandy notebook taking notes, never getting her hands dirty, does not by any means make her educated enough to write a movie based on a book report she put together by reading books and articles about a war that she admitted she paid no attention to while it was happening. Come back to reality jolie, you are an overpaid actress, nothing more. Get off the pedastal you have placed yourself on.

  • jj

    She plagiarized this story from a Croat, who is suing her. His pen name is James Braddock, but his real name is Josip Knezevic. She worked with the same Bosnian producer who had been, 4 years earlier, wanting to make Braddock’s story “The Soul Shattering” into a movie – but somehow that deal fell through.
    So it was just so coincidental and convenient that somehow Angelina Jolie comes up with the same unique plot/story and characters as James Braddock.
    Obviously that Bosnian man was very familiar with the script/story and keen on making a film for it got it to people who passed it on to Angelina Jolie. And now she passes it off as her own.
    She is too dumb to write a movie – she’s a high school drop out who, if you watch/read her interviews, can even finish a sentence or complete a thought. She drifts off and doesn’t show any genuine intelligence.
    Angelina is used as a front/tool to keep feeding the anti-Serb agenda and propaganda – ever 1-3 years Hollywood does another one of these movies which demonizes the Serbs and has the Muslims as perfectly innocent.

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  • peacemaker

    What ever nationality we have, our past history mistakes,should not be repeated,and be avoided. That was the message, Ms. Jolie would like to present, specially to all our leaders. Atrocities done by few,who have so much hate in their heart and mind. They have to listen to the dictatorship and brainwash with their wrong belief and mentality.. Why do you think we have war? Because of just one leader.who’s ideology is corrupted by their own personal intention..POWER..How come with one voice of this man,created havoc to all humanity. (e.g. like Hitler)while we as human being have to the right to stop revenge and killing.. All of us have faith and believe of one creator. That is perfect and with infinite goodness. We can all live in peace without fighting each other..Her message in making this movie with all the characters Serbs and Bosnian,come together is loud and clear. Not only of what happen to your country,but to other countries too. Innocent civilian are the one suffering with all this atrocities. It is just right to punish those who commit murder and award those victims of war. Either crime committed by either side. Or go after the leader, who started the order? As a soldier, your duty is to defend your country from invaders and protect peaceful civilian.. If no one is terrorizing and shooting..then a soldier have no right to take a life of any civilian. Ms. Jolie have no intention to demoralize anybody,but to reconcile both side to live in harmony. Those who are blind and remain isolated with their wrong concept and hatred,peace most start from you. we are not all born with evil heart,our faith teach us to love one another,whatever color or nation we come from. If anybody,accuse this lady unintelligent,and just got all your information on garbage tabs and unreliable news magazine..Then I suggest, do some more research about her accomplishment in life,not as just a movie star,or why Mr. Pitt stand on her woman. I live in a country where Muslim and Christian respect each other and religion never an issue to the relationship. We walk in different path,but reach the same goal,to our creature. The mission of our prophets,apostles,preachers connect us all to “One God”. if we only love one another..there will be peace on earth.

  • http://my.telegraph.co.uk/serbiano/sasamilosevic/94/angelina-jolie-a-persona-non-grata-in-serbia/ Sasa Milosevic

    Angelina Jolie sent an official letter to Association of Serbian Journalists sharply protesting against ” false reports of Serbian media on her debut movie ” In the land of blood and honey” portraying it as ” an anti-Serb propaganda”

    She strictly denied that film claims ” 300.000 people died in conflict” also rejecting she has ever called for ” the abolition of Republika Srpska ” as Serbian media reported causing an extensive media campaign against her in Serbia afterward she earned a status of ” persona non –grata” in this Balkan country.

    ” Some Serbian news and other outlets have in recent days attacked our film In the Land of Blood and Honey and I wish to correct the false statements contained in these reports ” writes Callan Walsh form “Endeavor Group” representing Angelina Jolie. She adds:

    ” Considering the subject matter and sensitivities involved, it is dangerously irresponsible to publish and repeat these inaccuracies. It has been falsely reported that the film claims 300,000 people died in the conflict. Neither this figure nor any specific figure related to deaths suffered in the conflict appears at any point in the film. I have never called for the abolition of Republika Srpska, and nothing similar was discussed during a recent meeting with President Obama…

    Read more….http://my.telegraph.co.uk/serbiano/sasamilosevic/94/angelina-jolie-a-persona-non-grata-in-serbia/

  • Thalia Rahme

    First of all Thank you Sasa for this great piece !!! so balanced …
    Was just checking the rating, looks like it also fell down to 3.1

    But thing that struck me is the fact that on imdb, it is said the movie is to be released on Feb 16.
    I don’t know if it has already been shown as a premiere in Serbia or Bosnia, but I say to the people wait until you watch it before starting to throw accusations or even to praise it.

    I understand how delicate it is to make such a movie … in Leb its no different !!!

    • http://my.telegraph.co.uk/serbiano/sasamilosevic/94/angelina-jolie-a-persona-non-grata-in-serbia/ Sasa Milosevic

      Dear Thalia
      Thanks on your nice words. The movie have already had the premiere in Sarajevo, Bosnia, but it is big question shall it be in Serbi on February 23, as it is planned from the Jolie’s team. The current situation affects their plans….

  • http://ssrn.com Eric Engle

    Is Serbia to be yet again a proxy battlefield for the United States and Russia? Ms. Jolie has always stood up for the poorest and most oppressed. The problem with the use of human rights as a foreign policy lever is that good faith efforts such as those by the actress get misconstrued and taken out of context, then magnified beyond proportion. Hopefully, quiet calm dispassionate words will help Serbians understand, whatever she may be saying, Ms. Jolie is not trying to reignite the bloody flames of genocide.

  • mira

    Its good for Serbs that the movie portrayed only the genocide committed in Bosnia and not the rest of the Balkans, otherwise the numbers of victims and hatred towards them would get way higher, so they should thank angie for not spilling all of their dirt in this hollywood setting.

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