not for kids
Angelina Jolie's movie is both horrifying and unengaging.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although In the Land of Blood and Honey -- actress Angelina Jolie's writing/directing debut -- is ostensibly a romantic war drama, it has much more gory, highly disturbing war imagery than romance. Expect very strong violence against women: Soldiers rape and bully women prisoners, and women are shot and killed and used as human shields in a battle. There's lots of blood, and a baby is killed off screen. In addition to the violence, there are three sex scenes with some full-frontal nudity, "f--k" is used (subtitled) several times, and the soldiers drink and smoke. It's possible that very mature teens could learn something about the horrifying conflict in 1992 in Bosnia-Herzegovina by watching, but unfortunately, the information isn't presented with the greatest of clarity, and the material is far too strong for kids under 18.
- Families can talk about In the Land of Blood and Honey's extreme violence. Was it all necessary to get the movie's point across? What impact does it have?
- The movie has several sex scenes between the lead characters. Are they in a loving relationship, or is the sex more about power? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
The good stuff
Messages: The movie wants to raise viewers' awareness of issues like the brutal treatment of female prisoners in Bosnia. But its main question is about giving up freedom to buy a measure of safety -- a question that it doesn't really answer. It also remains ambiguous or unclear on a number of other issues.
Role models: Presumably the main male character doesn't believe in the war effort, but he's also not brave enough or strong enough to make a stand against it. He tries to use whatever power he has to protect a woman, but his motivation for this and their relationship remains unclear. The main female character is stronger, but her motivations are likewise unclear.
What to watch for
Violence: Soldiers brutally rape women prisoners, more than once. Women are also bullied and beaten regularly. Lots of blood is shown. Women are used as human shields in a battle. An old woman is shot in the head, and a baby is killed (off screen). A character dies a gurgling, bloody death. In other scenes, soldiers are seen shooting and killing, fighting and pummeling. Also explosions and dead bodies.?
Sex: The main characters have three sex scenes that include full-frontal nudity. Women prisoners are seen bathing. In a very upsetting scene, soldiers make old women strip naked (viewers see their behinds) and laugh at them.
Language: "F--k" is used several times (seen in subtitles).
Consumerism: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Soldiers drink and smoke cigarettes to pass the time. The main characters drink most of a bottle of wine with dinner.
Fan Reviews provided by
Angelina Please Read This by myself78
You did a great job capturing the brutality of the war ... the human psychology as it goes through it's stages of fear, loss of dignity, courage etc in its fight for survival.
However, as you decided to bring attention to such an important event in recent history, you had the responsibility as an artist to show the whole picture , not just a one sided view.
There were many Serbian victims too. I have personally met and talked to many of them. I have even viewed some of the original photographs of the atrocities and listened to unspeakable details. Now, those victims are being victimized twice by your film.
Even if you just added something in the credits , that all sides suffered under the insanity of this war. It is an utter shame what happened to the victims. They will never be able to be at peace again until they are with God. Anyone that has hurt those poor women should go to hell .... I just wanted to let you know, that all sides were evil doers and all sides were victims. Amen
Best movie since Schindler's List! by frascati
This movie was so moving and made us understand what happened over there. The acting is superb. Even though there a love story of sort in the movie, it helps us realize the difficulties met by the different ethnic groups to live together. I visited the region pre-war several times and found everyone friendly and eager to make foreigners love their country. The war destroyed human trust in each other and, I believe, it will take a very long time to restore the country to its original beauty. Go see this movie!
Eye-opening by sweetangel1051
This movie was heartbreaking, my heart was so sad watching this. To see what humans can do to other humans. We will all be questioned one Day for our crimes against each other. I applaud Ms. Jolie for making a film like this, showing the different sides of war. The actors were brilliant, so real that I felt I was watching events unfold live. Obviously the love story was made up, but it gave a different dynamic which I liked. To see how torn they were being with each other, how they were to deal with carrying out the relationship after they were abruptly forced into opposite sides. I do not know much about the Bosnian War, but I'm glad I watched this film. Makes me want to read up on it to see what all went on. There are both evil and innocent people on each side of war; so sad that the evil appears to be more powerful...
A Total Surprise by SimpleGalSF
This movie surprised me. The acting was great and heart felt. The fact that the movie is subtitled, worried me a bit. The movie kept me interested and emotional. Excellent job for the first time director, writer, and producer...Angelina Jolie!
Disgrace by devistator_93
This movie is a disgrace to the history behind the war that took place here in B&H. The Muslims weren't the only victims here, Cro's, Serb's and bosnian's were tortured all the same. 2nd how is this story any different to the one of a family of 8 children that lost a father and 3rd this movie just brought back unwanted memories to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Then again only a dumb b%#h like Angelina Jolie could of made this POS!!!
Realistic movie by KostakurtaMan
I think that movie was very dark and depressive. Movie should be called "In the Land of blood and rape". Angelina went completely with the dark side of the war and yet, she did not present any bright moments and positives that we could find at that particular period of war in Bosnia. So, where is the honey? Bosnia is a beautiful country with civilized people and yet, there was a lot sadistic scenes which had happened during the war but, I think that was just too much of it.
Also, it should be more balance in a movie. War wasn't just about hatred and genocide. Politics was heavily involved in the war and she should picture it in the movie while interfering with the story. However, movie was realistic and even though it was made in Hungary, I thought that it was able to recreate Bosnian landscaping and urban cities. Not bad for Angelinas first movie. I was expecting less creative movie but it has certainly exceeded my expectations.
want to see so bad by amiii101
only playing in major movie theaters
A Must-See! by M_Johansson
Powerful, gripping and intense! If you didn't know it, you would never think this was done by a first-time writer/director. Angelina has once again hit her mark!