Bosnian Rape Victims Decry Angelina Jolie's Film

Groups fear love story will glamorize rape during 1992-95 war

By Greg Wilson
|  Monday, Nov 29, 2010  |  Updated 12:45 PM PDT
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Hollywood actress and the goodwill ambassador of UNHCR, Angelina Jolie visits a camp setup for people displaced by heavy floods, in Mohib Banda near Peshawar, Pakistan on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

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Angelina Jolie is not gaining new fans among Bosnian women who were sexually abused uring the 1990s war.

Jolie, who is in Sarajevo shooting a movie she penned that reportedly features a Serb rapist and his Muslim victim falling in love, was slammed as "ignorant" for the portrayal.

"Angelina Jolie's ignorant attitude towards victims says enough about the scenario and gives us the right to continue having doubts about it," the Women Victims of War (WVW) association said in a letter published Monday.

In the letter to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), for which Jolie is a goodwill ambassador, the association said its members were "deeply concerned" over the movie.

The film, Jolie's directorial debut, is set during the 1992-1995 war. She had early problems getting permission to shoot in Bosnia, due to complaints by victims' groups. A synopsis of the movie describes it as a love story between a Serb guard in a prison camp and a Muslim detainee, his former girlfriend. Media reports in the country have since added the rape angle.

Although it cannot be verified, the rape aspect ticked off the victims' groups, who sought a meeting with Jolie. But it never happened, leaving the groups fearing their suffering will distorted.

"As far as we are concerned a love story could not have existed in a camp. Such an interpretation is causing us mental suffering," she stressed.

The 1992-1995 war between Bosnia's Croats, Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives. Government officials estimate that at least 20,000 mostly Muslim women were raped during the conflict.

Selected Reading: AFP, New York Post, IMDb.

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