July 20th 2010 01:15:18 PM
So deeply entrenched is the notion of Serbian villainy that it’s apparently shocking when a Serbian film company executive takes exception to a Serb-bashing script, declining to allow his studios to be used for filming. Zeljko Mitrovic turned down Angelina Jolie’s propaganda film and directorial debut, stirring her and her co-filmmakers’ ire, with some Balkans observers stating the usual conclusion: Only Serbian NATIONALISM could account for not participating in Serb-bashing.
Serbstvo, who sent this in, wrote, “Owner of TV Pink, Zeljko Mitrovic, rejected Angelina Jolie’s offer to use his film studio to shoot her first movie. Like Richard Gere before her, she chose to center her first film on Serb-bashing. Mitrovic refused Jolie after her producers showed him the disgusting script.”
In April she and Brad Pitt made the usual propaganda rounds through Bosnia. But with a twist. After all, most of the displaced, the ethnically cleansed, the refugees in the former Yugoslavia are Serbs, and according to some reports, she didn’t exactly keep on program, but visited with Serb refugees in addition to the usual Muslim ones.
So much for that.
Here is a news item from earlier this week, before Mitrovic had turned down Jolie, which has a few details. I must say, this script seems to be a departure from all the previous anti-Serb Balkans tripe in that at least, it appears, the Serb is a redeemable character and clearly a victim of something himself. Or else how could the Muslim woman he raped fall in love with him? So pathetic and ridiculous as this film is, it may actually be an improvement:
Belgrade, July 14 (IANS/AKI) Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie is planning to direct her first film in the Balkans. She will also play a leading role in the movie, a love story set in the Bosnian war.
Jolie will visit Serbia in August to discuss planning of the film and scout locations, Belgrade daily Press reported Wednesday.
In the film, a Muslim woman is raped by a Serb at the beginning of Bosnia’s bloody 1992-1995 war. But they eventually fall in love and go together through horrors of the war in which more than 100,000 people were killed.
Serbian media magnate Zeljko Mitrovic, owner of a private television Pink Media Group and film studios on the outskirts of Serbian capital, will be involved in the project, according to Press.
Jolie is a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency UNHCR. She and her husband Brad Pitt visited the Balkans in April, taking a short vacation in Montenegro and visiting refugee camps in Bosnia.
To end, here was Mitrovic’s quote to the press on the matter:
Previously I had great sympathies and respect for her name and actions but she’s full of prejudice towards Serbs. Cooperation with her would open a door of great movie business for us, but I don’t want to be a part of something what represents Serbs as bad boys.
The only criticism that Mitrovic received in Serbia for his reaction came from some Serbian actors. And they’re… well…actors. Serbstvo wrote, “Among them is retired Bata Zivojinovic, a longtime actor who made his career playing communist Partisans, blasted Mitrovic for turning down such a great offer that would’ve brought much benefit to Serbia’s film industry.”
Serbstvo added, “Pissed Angelina said she’ll look for partners elsewhere. I’m sure she’ll find plenty of Muslims and Croats willing to help out.”