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Angelina Jolie took her first stab at directing a feature film with next month’s In the Land of Blood and Honey, a war-torn romance between a Serbian rape camp administrator and one of his Bosnian prisoners.
It’s pretty heavy subject matter for a first-time helmer, but Jolie said that was intentional.
“I felt there was just so much I didn’t know about that time,” she told 60 Minutes’ Bob Simon in explaining why she chose the Bosnian war as the film’s backdrop. “I felt that it was something important for us to talk about and revisit and learn from.”
The movie stars Zana Marjanovic (Snow), Goran Kostic and Rade Serbedzija (In the Rain). Jolie worked with a completely local cast, filming the project in both Serbo-Croation, the language spoken at the time of the war, and English.
Jolie said it was “really nice” not to be on camera for a change and that she felt real camaraderie on the set.
“I had never felt so much part of a team,” she said. “I don’t know if it was the subject matter or just that we all came together in a very specific time and environment about something that meant something to us, but somehow it became probably the best experience I’ve ever had.”
Blood and Honey has already dealt with its share of drama: Jolie was forced to cut her Bosnia shoot short after facing criticism from locals who were upset with the movie’s controversial plot line.
But she said that wasn’t the toughest part of making the movie. So what was? “This — the press,” she laughed.
FilmDistrict will be releasing the English-language version of the movie Dec. 23.
Jolie’s full interview airs on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday night.
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