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Jolie's tale of wartime love hailed by victims in Bosnia

Victims of Bosnia's 1992-95 war had most of their anxieties over a film by Hollywood star Angelina Jolie put to rest at a private screening yesterday.

Objections to filming Jolie's tale of love between a Serb man and a Muslim woman in Bosnia last year forced the Hollywood star to shoot most of the film in nearby Hungary. Only some of the exterior scenes were shot in Bosnia.

But the screening of the film in Sarajevo to representatives of victims' associations elicited positive reactions from some of Jolie's toughest local critics.

"She has made a fantastic film for Bosnia and Herzegovina, I can really say that from the angle of a victim," said Murat Tahirovic, president of Bosnia's association of (wartime) detainees.

Tahirovic was among a dozen representatives of wartime victims invited to the closed screening of Jolie's directorial debut, 'In the Land of Blood and Honey".

"Everybody should see this film," Mr Tahirovic said.

In October 2010, a Bosnian minister cancelled Ms Jolie's filming permits citing incomplete paperwork, after female victims of the Bosnian war objected to details of the plot, alleging it was about love between a rapist and his victim.

The film tells a tale of love between a Serb man and a Muslim woman before the Bosnian war, who later meet in different circumstances -- he is an army officer and she is his detainee.

Victims of sexual violence in Bosnia wrote to the United Nations refugee agency, saying Jolie did not deserve her role as a UNHCR Good Will Ambassador, and did not know enough about the Bosnian conflict. Jolie first came to Bosnia last year as an UNHCR ambassador.

Irish Independent