Review of In The Land of Blood and Honey, a movie by Angelina Jolie

by William Dorich on December 17, 2011

in Bosnia, Croatia, enemy propaganda, ICTY, Islam, Orthodox Christianity, Serbia, video and film, William Dorich (team member)

By William Dorich

I preface this review by admitting that I am not a film critic—however, I have written six books on Balkan history and as a journalist, many of my articles have been published dealing with the Balkans, that have been reproduced in the International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times among others and published in the Serbian press for two decades.

Regarding In the Land of Blood and Honey, I wish to correct what I observed, especially the distortion of historic facts. I will leave the artistic side to those who are more qualified. Sex, violence and fabrication appear alive and well in Hollywood as cinematic tricks are used to distract and “entertain” us.

Angelina Jolie wrote, directed and produced Blood and Honey. Jolie has unfortunately diverted our attention away from the facts regarding the Bosnian Civil War that she used as the backdrop for her exaggerated melodrama. She seems clueless that she plagiarized Shakespeare.

When Jolie went into this film production, she was fully aware of the emotional scars and personal losses of many Bosnian families, especially those of mixed marriages who will view this film. Pretending that her film is just make-believe but based on actual events, is a cop-out lacking responsibility—the kind of responsibility Jolie demands when human rights are violated.

Jolie arrogantly brushes aside the real Romeo & Juliet of Bosnia killed by a sniper on May 19, 1993. He was Bosko Brkic, a Bosnian Serb, and she was Admira Ismic, a Bosnian Muslim—they were assassinated as they tried to escape the Muslim side of Sarajevo by crossing the Vrbanja Bridge for safety on the Serbian side of the city. In their dying embrace they remained on that bridge for several days. The media, like vultures, manipulated their deaths and the ugly visual image for the benefit of their front page stories and nightly news.

But Jolie’s newest Romeo, Danijel, played by Serbian actor, Goran Kostic, and Juliet, Ajla, played by Muslim actress Zana Marjanovic, weaves a different story using sex, aggression and murder that perverts audiences’ senses into believing that violence, mistreatment and enslavement are supposed to represent a romance in the midst of an ethnic war. Granted, this is the prerequisite for a successful film today in Hollywood, and I acknowledge that the film was not intended to be a documentary, but, then again, propaganda always starts from this position.

The beginning of the film shows Ajla getting dressed for a date with a Serbian policeman. The following scene is of them dancing in a Sarajevo nightclub, meant to show a multi-ethnic city being shattered by a bomb blast, obviously launched by the Serbs. The next scene erupts with women being dragged onto a bus headed for what else? A Serb Rape Camp! Little footage is wasted before these women are taken from the bus, and moments later, a Serbian policeman throws one of them over the hood of a vehicle, pulls down her pants and rapes her. Next, the policeman grabs Ajla and proceeds to rape her when Danijel, her Serb love interest, prevents the rape and tells his fellow officer that she is not to be touched. Ajla survives the story locked in a room and only sleeps with Danijel. Why a young man would spend a war defending a woman with whom he only had one date, rings hollow in this plot. Turning that into another “Romeo & Juliet of Bosnia” comes off as rather naïve.

Jolie uses this Serbian bombing as the beginning of her film, ignoring the real start of the Bosnian Civil War when Muslim terrorists crashed into a Christian Serbian church during a wedding in Sarajevo, telling the guests that “Serbs were no longer allowed to display their centuries-old flag because Bosnia was now a Muslim country.” The thugs then shot and killed the father of the groom and seriously wounded the Serbian Orthodox priest and a dozen of the wedding guests.

Jolie omits any reference to the more than 2,000 Muslim terrorists who came to Sarajevo from Osama bin Laden’s training camps in Afghanistan and who tortured and executed a dozen Serbian soldiers by roasting them on spits like animals and decapitating dozens more. Then carried their severed heads around Sarajevo as trophies. My files contain several of those hideous photographs.

Jolie also cleverly omits the fact that thousands of Serbs were fired from their jobs including my friend who worked for Sarajevo Television for over 25 years. Muslims went throughout Sarajevo’s apartment buildings evicting Serb tenants who lived in those units for decades. After tossing Serb families out they threw their possessions out of the windows into the street. Jolie never touches on the fact that 250,000 Serbs were cleansed from Sarajevo and were forbidden to return to cast their ballots in the first Bosnian election in which Alija Izetbegovic won the presidency by only 44,000 votes. Any rationale for the Serbian retaliation including self-defense in this film was obviously left on Jolie’s cutting-room floor.

The Croats who fought the Bosnian Muslims for 4 years escaped notice and were made invisible in this film. The Bosnian Muslims were portrayed as innocent victims brutalized by overpowering Serb forces.

As I sat through this film, I was reminded of Peter Brock’s outstanding book, Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting—Journalism and Tragedy in Yugoslavia, in which one chapter is entitled, “Only Muslim Victims, Only Serb Perpetrators.” This movie, much like the contemptible record of the partisan press that covered this Civil War, keeps reinforcing the lie that “300,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed.” Like Goebbels during the Holocaust who preached “Tell a lie a hundred times and it becomes the truth,” the lie of 300,000 deaths and 60,000 rapes was repeated by the media for seven years, and the world was made to believe it.

Through reputable human rights organizations we now know that less than 97,000 victims were killed on all sides in these Balkan Civil Wars, hardly enough victims on any side to be considered “genocide.” We also know that Jolie was fully aware of the 800,000 victims hacked to death in Rwanda two years earlier that Jolie managed to ignore. However, it appears she embraced any Bosnian propaganda that fit into her melodrama. Blood and Honey was nominated in the foreign film category, but I do not think many in Hollywood expect much from her film-directing debut.

The dialogue does briefly acknowledge Serb victims at The Battle of Kosovo in 1389, an historical event that will escape 99% of any audience viewing this film. Also, the casual mention of the Croatian Ustashe Nazi forces in WWII who liquidated 1.4 million Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 78,000 Roma Gypsies is connected with a “Chetnik” remark (Chetniks were the Serbs who fought the Nazis) that will escape her audience as well.

While the Serbian Orthodox church received its share of blame in the media and in this film, no connection is made to the late Serbian Patriarch Pavle who led over a million Serbs in protest marches that were the largest and longest in decades against the Milosevich government. During an interview with the Swiss Federal Parliament on December 10, 1992, the Patriarch told officials: “800 Serb women were documented as repeated rape victims in 20 camps operated by Muslims and Croats.” The patriarch also cited the Yugoslav State Commission for War Crimes on August 2, 1992—the same day Newsday’s “death camp” stories went on American newsstands that identified locations at Sarajevo, Tuzla, Bugojno, Bihac and Slavonski Brod where Serb women were confined, raped and murdered by Croat and Muslim soldiers.

The Romeo & Juliet “love story” wears thin before the film finally puts the audience out of its misery when Danijel shoots his Muslim lover Ajla in the head at point blank range. The last scene of the film provides a final opportunity for Jolie to demonize the Serbian people as Danijel crawls to his knees before UN police and claims several times: “I am a War Criminal, I am a War Criminal,” a remark designed to remain in the minds of the audience as they leave the theater.

The film, however, does not embrace an audience; it stuns and bludgeons them with the rape issue. Jolie does not waste a good opportunity for full-blown propaganda by ending her film credits with various war-related statistics. In bold type one reads: “50,000 Bosnian rape victims,” a number that has long been discredited numerous times over the past dozen years. If this film is being presented as fiction, these statistical records were totally out of place and were used for political reasons.

The fabrications, partisan journalism and crude propaganda of the Bosnian Civil War by the international media can be summed up by one lone account from French journalist Jerome Bony, who described in a February 4, 1993 broadcast about his trek to Tuzla, which gained notoriety as the most prominent Bosnian town for finding Muslim rape victims:

“When I was fifty kilometers from Tuzla I was told to ‘go to the Tuzla gymnasium (high school) there are 4,000 raped women.’ At twenty kilometers, this figure dropped to 400. At ten kilometers, only forty were left. Once at the site, I found only four women willing to testify.”

The Land of Blood and Honey hemorrhages vulgarity with no “honey” to sweeten the pain of multi-ethnic violence in which all sides were responsible for war crimes in a three-sided civil War.

Like the kangaroo court in The Hague, Angelina Jolie’s film continues the process of condemning the Serbian people with collective guilt—denying them equal rights and equal justice as international political leaders continue to amputate portions of Serbian territory against her will and in violation of the UN Charter in which Serbia was a founding member; the Geneva Conventions, the Helsinki Final Act, and the NATO Treaty including violating UN Resolution #1244 that guaranteed Kosovo as sovereign Serbian territory as part of the peace agreement arranged by Richard Holbrooke. Surely, Jolie cannot be this ignorant?

Actor Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie’s father, attended Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, New York, a school built in the 1950s and named after the Croatian Roman Catholic priest who was convicted by the allies of war crimes in WWII. He spent ten years in prison for his crimes against Serbs and Jews in Croatia, perhaps a clue to Jolie’s obvious anti-Serb bias.

If this film was meant to portray Ms. Jolie’s impressions of the recent civil war, sadly she did not take advantage of her public persona to give the wounded and divided people of Bosnia a reason to heal. As a Serb, I left the screening appalled that once again the word “Serb” has been made synonymous with evil—It appears then that Blood and Honey is Angelina Jolie’s attempt at cinematic genocide.


William Dorich is the author of 6 books on Balkan history including his 1991 book, Serbian Genocide 1941-45 and his 1992 book, Kosovo. He is the recipient of the Order of St. Sava, the highest recognition given to a layperson by the Holy Synod of Serbian Orthodox Bishops; an Award of Merit from the Serbian Bar Association of America and a Freedom Award by RAS—The International Serbian Organization.

For more information about the Balkans and books offered by this writer visit:

Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting – Peter Brock

Jasenovac Then & Now—A Conspiracy of Silence – Wm. Dorich

Kosovo is Serbia – Dr. Vojin Joksimovich

Hilandar Octocentenary – Wm. Dorich

Liar’s Poker – Michel Collon

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 William Dorich March 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Dear Dr. Brandstetter:

Thank you, thank you for your powerful response. I hope that the Serbs and the Jews will join forces, it is long overdue. During the Holocaust in the Balkans, thousands of Serbs risked their lives to save Jews by hiding them in their basements, attics and barns. When they were caught by the Nazi Croats and Germans they were murdered along with those they were tying to save. Serbs and Jews share common graves.

What is troubling to me is the fact that Serbs saved the lives of thousands of Jews but when our National Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, President Franjo Tudjman of Croatia was invited, in spite of his comment that he was “grateful his wife was neither a Serb nor a Jew.” A Catholic woman was honored during the opening ceremony for saving the lives of 6 Jews and not a single Serbian representative was invited to this opening including Serbian officials in our own country. In fact, there are no exhibits dedicated to the Serbian Holocaust where more than one million Serbs perished in former Yugoslavia.

Not a single Serb was made honorable by the Jews after the Holocaust? Why? As Jews fled from Croatia and Bosnia knowing full well that if they stayed they would be killed by the Croats and Muslims, no one stood up to what was being done to the Serbs. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo were amputated from sovereign Serbian territory and the world looked the other way including the Jews who knew exactly what the fait of the Serbs was going to be. John Ranz was the only Jew to speak out against the Muslims in Bosnia when Genocide was their claim. He felt it was an absurd claim and that all sides were committing war crimes in that Civil War.

If there is any value in Simon Wiesenthal’s words that ‘Hope Lives When People Remember,’ then Serbs will surely find it hopeless that their bravery in saving the lives of thousands of Jews during the war in Yugoslavia has been easily erased from history. Serbs also find hopeless a new attempt to tell the story of World War II in the Balkans entitled “Serbia’s Secret War … Propaganda and the Deceit of History” by Philip Cohen, a dentist, who is unburdened with credentials in Balkan Studies and cannot speak in the Serbo-Croatian language, nor can he read the Cyrillic alphabet, which would have been necessary to comb through the thousands of documents to make this alleged discovery. Apparently, Dr. Cohen relied on others to do his so-called “meticulous and excruciatingly well-documented study,” according to Stjepan G. Mestrovic, a Croatian at Texas A&M University. No respectable Croatian would dare to author such an immoral book. Jasenovac, know by historians as the “Auschwitz of the Balkans” only appears twice in his book, on pages 91 and 125 … less than 100 words were used to describe Jasenovac, where, according to the majority of Balkan scholars, more than a half million Serbs, 40,000 Jews and 70,000 Roma and 90,000 Serbian children under the age of 10 were exterminated. Today the same Croats use their checkerboard symbol on their national flag, the same symbol under which a million or more people were liquidated. It is an international disgrace, yet Israel recognized them as a new nation?

At the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles where the Wiesenthal quote is turned into a major wall ornament there is no mention of Jasenovac Concentration Camp, nor is there any description that 40,000 Jews and 44 Rabbi were exterminated there. The only reference to Jasenovac is on a map at the end of the museum tour, so hope has been trashed at this museum that refused to host a Jasenovac exhibit 4 times in the past decade at the request of the late Dr. Milan Bulijac, the foremost Holocaust authority in Serbia. Why would a Holocaust museum continue to hide the fact that 44,000 Serbs were killed by the Croats and Muslims in former Yugoslavia? This is very troubling.

In his foreword to Cohen’s book, Jewish Professor David Riesman, Emeritus of Social Sciences at Harvard, also found it obligatory to use racism to describe the Serbs by saying, “The accounts makes clear, there is an important cultural difference between Serbia and Croatia: it is in Serbia that illiterates could rise to leadership and even to the monarchy…” This remark was obviously meant to be as insulting as possible to the Serbian nation. Riesman’s kind of hateful attack on Serbians was what made Jasenovac a reality.

I remind the Jews who may read this post that it was the SERBS who gave Jews a new home when they fled Spain. Serbia was a generous host to Jews who prospered in Serbia. I also remind Jews that the oldest Jewish choir in the modern world is not in Israel, it’s in Belgrade. Jews owe the Serbs a major debt not betrayal and I, too, hope that the Jews and the Serbs join forces… our religious goals are identical, our territorial integrity is the same and our enemies are mutual.

2 Cake March 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I just wanted to point out that by saying “hardly enough victims on any side to be considered ‘genocide’. incorrectly implies that there is a qualifying number for genocide. The genocide convention DOES NOT state a number but says, that killing members of a group (among other things) with the “intent to destroy in whole or in part a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” is genocide. Killing between 7 and 8 thousand male members of a population (in a patriarchal society) would sufice for genocide, and has been judged genocide by the International Court of Justice. You did a great job pointing out the inconsistencies in Jolie’s film but do not commit similar mistakes. You use international data, that was internationally financed and used in international courts to disprove her claim of 300,000 dead, but refute the same sources that judged that there was in fact a genocide.

3 William Dorich March 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm

To Cake…No, you are incorrect, only two Serbs have been convicted of Genocide in Srebrenica and sentenced… are you willing to convict the entire nation of Serbia for the crimes of two people? That is exactly what the media has done for 15 years by using the ugly tactics of “collective guilt.” Not since Hitler has an entire ethnic race been collectively found guilty and those Germans liquidated millions of Jewish victims as wells as over one million Serbs. Your remark is therefore a bit insulting.

Milosevic was called “The Butcher of the Balkans” he has been dead for 6 years… how long do the Serbs suffer from his heavy-handed regime? Of course you totally ignore President Izetbegovic whose Bosnian Muslim troops murdered 10,000 Serbs including 3,000 innocent victims in the 34 villages that surrounded Srebrenica. Nasir Oric who led those Muslim goons and thugs to slaughter those 3,000 Serbian victims go unpunished as morons like you dwell on an alleged 7,000 Srebrenica victims in spite of the fact that for 15 years only 1,200 BODY PARTS have been recovered, (not 1,200 bodies).

Even with video evidence of Nasir Oric decapitating his Serbian victims the kangaroo court in The Hague set him free. Milosevic’s death did not stop the ugly attacks on the entire Serbian nation on which the US and her allies did over $78 billion in infrastructure damage to Serbia and put nearly half of the population out of work by destroying their factories, industries and 60 bridges…

I can’t help but notice you make no reference that the United States of America, a former ally of the Serbs in two World Wars, destroyed over 300 Serbian schools, 11 Serbian churches, 47 major factories including their auto industry, bombed 5 hospitals and 4 nursing homes and by bombing the oil reserve facilities on the banks of the Danube River they have polluted that river for a thousand miles through 7 countries. The US bombing and the use of not only illegal cluster bombs, but depleted uranium weapons has increased the rate of cancer in Serbia by 3,000% since the bombing. Serbia has experienced a triple rate increase in birth defects… maybe that is still not enough punishment of the Serbs from people of your ilk who seem to want to pour oil on the fire?

Your absurd lack of concern that the United States did this in violation of the UN Charter, the NATO Treaty, the Helsinki Final Act and the Geneva Conventions. Trying to make me look foolish when you come across as a moron reveals a depth of Chutpzah that is very common in the far left leaning media and dumb actors like Angelina Jolie. I am glad to hear her movie had bombed and that she has not grossed even $250,000 on a film that cost her $13 million to produce, or was that Muslim oil money that was invested in her piece of propaganda crap?

4 Ivana November 19, 2012 at 8:31 am

Thank you, sir, for publishing this review. As a Bosnian Serb it sickens me that there are people uninformed about the war who would gladly accept this version of events as being true. I commend you for having the stomach to watch this pile of undisguised propagandist rubbish the entire way through, as I certainly could not.

5 CzechRebel November 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm


I have been at this since the Kosovo War in 1999. The author of this article, Bill Dorich, and several of our other authors have been at it even longer.

There is ONLY ONE truth. The so-called “media” is an enemy of that truth. Here in the US, it would be better to call the media, the US Ministry of Propaganda. All but one of the major US media outlets are far-left wing and highly anti-Orthodox Church. One media outlet, Fox, is supposedly “fair and balanced.” It presents various points of view, some of which are conservative/libertarian. However, it refuses to tell the truth about the Balkans.

Thanks for visiting our blog and writing us.

6 William Dorich November 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Thank you Ivana. What we have now experienced is how truth is handled by the Kangaroo Court in The Hague in which only Serbs are convicted of war crimes in a Civil War and the Croats and Muslim perpetrators go free. This is exactly the kind of justice Serbs experienced after WWII when Ante Pavelic, the first president of a Nazi Croatian state escaped through the “Vatican Ratline” for Argentina, along with such scum of the earth as Clause Barbe.

Pavelic became the security advisor to Juan Peron who issued 34,000 visas to Croatian war criminals, including 640 Roman Catholic priests who murdered Serbs with their own hands. Not a single one of these war criminals were brought to justice, just like Operation Storm in 1995 where over 230,000 Serbs were ethnically cleansed from Croatia creating an ethnically and religiously pure Croatia and thousands were killed in the process, yet, this stupid court, bought and paid for by NATO let them all go free. My book, now available on all of the tablets, Jasenovac Then & Now: A Conspiracy of Silence covers these war crimes in detail and names the perpetrators as well as provides evidence of these crimes.

The same can be said of the Bosnian Muslims, 22,000 of them in the SS Hanjar Nazi Division in Bosnia from 1941-45. Their despicable task was to guard the railways to Auschwitz and other death camps. They liquidated tens of thousands of Serbs who were our allies in WWII and they too escaped justice. How compelling that Croats and Muslims in former Yugoslavia were all Nazis, now the world defends them. This decision at The Hague does not even pass the smell test of “equal justice under the law” that is etched over the doorway of the U.S. Supreme Court. It makes a mockery of those words.

Thank you for supporting my review of Angelina Jolie’s movie, In the Land of Blood and Honey… truly a piece of crap. It cost over $10 million to produce and to date she has not made even one million dollars, I hope my review helped to destroy her propaganda ploy that was financed by the likes of George Soros and Saudi millionaires.

7 Christoper January 1, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Thank you William Dorish for writing this review i’ve learned alot reading it. Now i don’t know much about you but i know you don’t belive that bullshit that comes out the MSM so i have a question, I’m just 20 years old and its been about a year and a half since i’ve been really curious and intrested in whats going on in this world and i’ve come to realalize and correct me if i’m wrong but that the United States Where i live! is a really f***ed up country and problably the one to blame for most of the f’d up s*** that happeneds in this world they may not do it directly all the time, but i think its mostly behind the scenes stuff, camouflage in a way it makes them look like its good thing their there you know, but i would like you to tell me what you think about america’s role in the world and in Bosnia during the war and now?

Amd also I just seen this move The Whistleblower staring Rachel Weisz about an American policewoman gets sent to Bosnia post civil war and uncovers that the U.N. is in the sex-trafficing business, did you see it? if so was it bullshit? Thank You So Much.

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