Yasmina Reality

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In the Land of Blood and Honey

In the Land of Blood and Honey

By on February 23, 2014 in Uncategorized
2 years ago, a very important film was gifted to the world.  It’s called In the Land of Blood and Honey, written and directed by Angelina Jolie.  I was not blogging at the time; but I was so moved by this film; I wrote a review of it on my Facebook page.  I’m re-printing it at the end of this post.

When this film was released, Jolie along with the cast and crew, were interviewed by Anderson Cooper. Lump in my throat- I watched Jolie take no credit for her amazing work on this film. She humbly insisted that the story belonged to the people who lived it – in Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia.

I grew up in a Chicagoland mosque alongside Bosnian families- many that are like family to me today- like brothers and sisters.  My own mother who is Croatian- was born in an Austrian refugee camp in 1945.  ‘Displaced persons’ is not a new epithet in my family tree.  Today, I am blessed to have dear friends in the American Bosnian community that were refugees from the war of the 1990’s.  The war that this film is about.  (I have a difficult time reconciling that what happened in Bosnia in the 1990’s was a ‘war’ since the term ‘war’ typically implies that two equal sides are at conflict.  Ethnic cleaning and genocide of the worst magniture are just that.  Ethnic cleansing and genocide.)


I have heard real life stories that are not told in the media- or even in the brave account that is this film.  There are stories I was told firsthand that I cannot retell.  Because of the horror that they are.  The stories of Bosnian genocide by the Serbs cannot be forgotten.  The 1995 masacre at Srebenica where more than 8,000 innocent lives were snuffed out in a genocidal rampage- shall not be forgotten.  (A short scene in this film hallmarks Srebrenica- but doesn’t come at all close to sharing the magnitude of this atrocity.)  And this film needs to be kept alive.

Official Trailer: In the Land of Blood and Honey

Download it, rent it, buy it- watch it.  Re-tell it.  Share it.

This past week, Angelina Jolie spent time in Lebanon with Syrian refugees as part of her work with the UNHCR- The UN Refugee Agency.  It is the humanitarian essence of Angelina Jolie that drives her to this work with the oppressed and displaced of our planet.  It is this essence that is making a difference and hopefully inspiring others to follow in her trail.
I plan to blog more about the amazing humanitarian work of Angelina Jolie- so check back. ~Yasmina Reality


January 8, 2012 at 8:31pm
Went downtown today to see In the Land of Blood and Honey with my husband. (The film is entirely in Bosnian with English sub-titles which made it much more impactful.)  Sitting through the film left me drained- with a headache and tears.  But I’m so glad I saw it.
I’m disappointed in the critics who were expecting a history lesson or political statement from In the Land of Blood and Honey.  Not only did Angelina Jolie state quite precisely that she was doing neither when she wrote and directed the film- surely no one would have let her complete this project otherwise.  (If the critics had one ounce of understanding of the sensitivity of conflict- they would be embarrased to expect more.  They should do some googling before seeing the film.)  Anyway, it’s not a documentary- rather a way to get some type of feel- from the comfort of your chair –  for every day life during the war in Bosnia in the 90s.  She accomplished that and had her facts straight.
Beyond disturbing are the indignities and crimes against humanity.  Ethnic cleansing is so entirely senseless and an embarrassment to human kind.  People shy away from atrocities that happen across the globe- but this movie puts it in front of you because it is undeniable fact- and happens in the world in which we live.  (No one wants to see horrific crimes perpetrated against women, children, men, boys.  But do we turn a blind eye then?)  I recommend this to anyone wanting to appreciate their life more- to anyone wanting an understanding.  To my Balkan and Bosnian refugee friends- it is your choice wether to see it or not, but it will serve not as any type of education to you but a harsh reminder- so if it were up to (the emotional) me— I’d say don’t see it.
Bravo to Angelina Jolie- a true humanitarian, for honoring her role as a Good Will Ambassador and using her fame and Hollywood platform for the good.  May God reward her and bless her and her family for her efforts.

About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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