Angelina Jolie's directorial debut has sparked fresh controversy among a group of Bosnian War rape victims who are calling for the "ignorant" actress to be stripped of her role as a United Nations goodwill ambassador. The Hollywood star has stepped behind the camera for the first time for the as-yet-untitled wartime love story, which is set in the region and was shot in Hungary and Bosnia in October and November.
The project encountered problems early on in its production when Bosnian government officials revoked her film permit following confusion over the plot, which was said to focus on a Muslim woman who falls in love with her Serbian rapist. The claims caused outrage among members of the Women Victims of War (WVW) association and Jolie offered to make amends by meeting with the campaign group to clear up the reporting mistake.
The actress invited WVW representatives to Hungary to sit down face-to-face and discuss their grievances, but the campaigners rejected the offer, insisting any meeting should take place in Bosnia, where the war crimes had been committed. Now WVW members have fired off a letter of complaint to the United Nations, insisting they are "deeply concerned" about Jolie's film.
In the letter, published on Monday, November 29, the campaigners write, "We have insisted to meet Angelina Jolie since we don't want to be wrongly presented in the world... Our voices are worthwhile and we should have got much more respect... Angelina made a big mistake. We feel that she did not act like a real UNHCR ambassador and we believe that she has no more credibility to remain the ambassador."
WVW boss Bakira Hasecic adds to the AFP, "We wanted to talk woman to woman. She should have asked after the victims, come (to Bosnia) before the shooting to hear our voice. As far as we are concerned a love story could not have existed in a camp. Such an interpretation is causing us mental suffering."