Serb screenings of Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut have attracted just a handful of viewers, say local media — “more than the movie deserves,” one daily reported Friday.
“In the Land of Blood and Honey” — a drama set in the Bosnian war about a Serb soldier who finds his ex-lover, a Muslim woman, among sex slaves in a camp — has triggered mixed emotions in the postwar Balkans.
It received a standing ovation in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, but has sparked outrage among Serbs, who have blasted the movie as propaganda designed to portray them as the 1992-95 Balkan wars’ bad guys.
Serbian newspaper reports Friday described the film’s opening as a “fiasco.” Only 12 people attended the earliest screening in a movie theater in central Belgrade, some of whom left before the end, reports said.
“More police were there than viewers,” a cinema employee, who identified himself only as Misha, said.
Nationalist Press daily wrote that “the film is so bad that it warrants no reaction.” It added that only five people have turned up for a “ghostly empty” screening in another cinema — “more than the movie deserves,“it said.
In stark contrast to Serbia, thousands have so far seen Jolie’s movie in both Croatia and Bosnia. In both countries, Jolie attended red-carpet premieres along with top dignitaries.
Tens of thousands of people were killed in the Bosnian war, which pitted the country’s Serbs against Muslims and Croats.
Serbs have been widely blamed for most of the atrocities in the conflict, which is considered as Europe’s worst bloodshed since World War II.