Angelina Jolie has responded to claims by Croatian journalist James Braddock that she stole the idea for her new film, ”In the Land of Blood and Honey’ from his book. In a new interview, Jolie told the LA Times that the lawsuit is ‘”par for the course. It happens on almost every film.” Although she says she did draw inspiration from several novels about the Bosnian war, she insists “that particular book I’ve never seen,” referring to Braddock’s 2007 novel, ‘A Soul Shattering.’
Braddock filed suit in an Illinois court earlier this week. He claims that he met and corresponded with a producer on Jolie’s film and that he contributed “plot and character development, and the story’s cultural significance and historical accuracy.” He’s seeking an emergency injunction against the movie’s release, which is set for Dec. 23.
‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’ is about a romance between a Bosnian Muslim woman and a Serbian army officer, set against the brutal backdrop of the Bosnian War. Braddock’s book is also set in Bosnian war camps with a romance between a man and a woman on opposing sides of the conflict.
In writing the film, which also marks her directorial debut, Jolie told the LA Times, “There are many books and documentaries that I did pull from,” mentioning works by journalists Peter Maas and Tom Gielten. “It’s a combination of many people’s stories,” she added, but insisted that Braddock’s story wasn’t one of them.
She’s faced her share of controversy on the film already over the perception that it was about a woman who falls in love with her rapist. A Balkan women’s group successfully lobbied to deny her a film permit in Bosnia. (A permit was granted after she shared the script, which does contain scenes of rape, but not a rape that leads to romance.)
The actress commented on the accusations that she was romanticizing war-time atrocities: “I felt sympathy for people for whom these issues are so sensitive. But when you’re coming at something because you care so much about an area, especially women in that area, as I was, and you know the themes of the film are violence against women, then to be accused of the opposite hurts. You feel a little sickened by it.”
[via LA Times]
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