Jolie wants to meet Bosnian victims, clear misunderstanding

SARAJEVO- Hollywood star Angelina Jolie said Friday that she wants to meet a group of war victims to clear up any misunderstanding after Bosnia revoked her licence to film this week.
Her licence to shoot scenes in Sarajevo and the central town of Zenica in November was cancelled when the Women Victims of War (WVW) association complained after media reports the film would depict a love story between a Muslim victim and her Serb rapist.

Jolie wants to meet Bosnian victims, clear misunderstanding
"I have great respect for all the work of the WVW association ... and I would like the opportunity to speak with them personally to clear up any misunderstandings about this project," Jolie said in a statement issued through the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, in Bosnia.
She added that part of the reason to make her first movie as a director was to remind people of what happened during the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and to give attention to the survivors of the conflict that left some 100,000 people dead.
"My hope is that people will hold judgement until they have seen the film," she added.
Bakira Hasecic of the WVW, whose members are all wartime rape victims, told AFP Friday that she would gladly meet with Jolie.
"We would like her to show us the script so we can see if it contains elements that falsify history and the truth," she said.
Hasecic has not seen the script yet and the WVW complaints were based solely on the press reports.
A local production company working with Jolie on the project told AFP Thursday that they had sent the script of the as yet untitled movie to the culture ministry of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat Federation.
Edin Sarkic, a representative of the company, was confident they would get their filming license reinstated and insisted that the film was not a rape love story.
On Friday Sarkic said he had not yet heard back from the ministry since he submitted the script.
"They told me to be patient," he said, adding that he was "reassured that things will be worked out".
"It would be a shame for all of us on the project and the local crew in Sarajevo, if unfair pressure based on wrong information were to prevent us from shooting in Bosnia," Jolie's production company for the project GK Films said in a separate statement Friday.
International organisations have estimated that thousands of women were raped during the 1991-95 Bosnian war that was sparked by the break-up of the communist federation of Yugoslavia.
In February 2001, the UN war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia convicted three Bosnian Serbs of crimes against humanity and war crimes after they were found guilty of rape and forced prostitution of Bosnian Muslim women in the southeastern town of Foca.
The verdict marked the first time an international court had ruled that rape was a crime against humanity.
Jolie, one of Hollywood's highest paid actresses, has hired mostly local Bosnian actors for the English-language movie and will not appear in it herself.
The 35-year-old, who most recently starred in the spy thriller "Salt", paid a surprise visit to Sarajevo in August when she called on Bosnian leaders to speed up the return of thousands of refugees from the civil war.

Saturday, October 16th 2010

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