Angelina Jolie defends Bosnian directorial debut

Thu Dec 2, 2010 10:23am EST
 
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By John Irish

PARIS (Reuters) - Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has hit back at criticism of her directorial debut, saying most people back her portrayal of a love story between a Serbian man and Bosnian woman on the eve of the 1992-95 Balkans conflict.

Speaking in Paris ahead of next week's premiere of a very different film -- romantic action comedy "The Tourist" in which she stars with Johnny Depp -- Jolie said her intention had never been to stoke controversy with her movie set in wartime Bosnia.

Bosnian victims of sexual violence during the 1990s have written to the United Nations, for which the Oscar-winning actress is a goodwill ambassador, saying she didn't deserve the position and did not know enough about the ethnic conflict.

"There's one person who has a gripe," Jolie said.

"The absolute majority of the people, population, the cast, prime minister, president have been extremely supportive," she said, adding that 95 percent of the film's cast had lived through the war.

Jolie has described her movie, which is still untitled, as a love story between a Serbian man and a Bosnian Muslim woman on the eve of the 1992-95 war in which 100,000 people died.

The production team has cut back on filming plans in Bosnia, however, moving some scenes from Sarajevo to be shot in Budapest, after a Bosnian minister canceled the filming permit in October, citing incomplete paperwork.

The move came after the minister met with female victims of the Bosnian war who said they objected to details of the plot.   Continued...

 
<p>Actress Angelina Jolie uses a mobile phone at the set during the filming of her yet untitled directorial debut in Esztergom (60 km north of Budapest) November 12, 2010. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh</p>