January 12th 2011 07:56:06 PM
I’ve been meaning to check in on Angelina Jolie and how this friend of Bosnian-Muslims is doing with her pro-Bosnian-Muslim film project. So I’m a little late with the update below.
One thing that passed without notice is the fact that, to her great credit, among the refugees that Jolie visited with were in fact Serbian refugees of the Bosnian war — the ones you just don’t hear about. I suspected that she had met with some Serbs in my original post on her April 2010 visit to Bosnia, based on this report which carefully does not identify them as such, since the words “Serb” and “refugee” must stay divorced. But this update confirms that Jolie had in fact met with 15 Serbian refugees: Bosnian Refugees Get Donation After Jolie’s Visit
The Serbs, still unable to return to their homes in Bosnia 15 years later, are grateful for the attention that Jolie’s visit called to their plight, which resulted in the U.S. quietly (guiltily) giving a $500,000 donation so that an apartment building can be built for them.
Especially given the contrast between the Bosnian-Serb women she visited with and the Bosnian-Muslim women whose propaganda her film furthers, I would totally be loving on the Serbs over the Muslims.
Because as we know, no matter how much or how often you do for Muslims, it’ll backfire in the end:
…The ordeal of the Bosniak women has been thrust into the spotlight again, after it was announced recently that Angelina Jolie is to make a film which will allegedly tell of the love between a Serb rapist and his Muslim victim…
But for victims of mass rapes in Bosnia, the idea of their stories being retold is almost torture. Their faces offer horrified expressions, their hands shake and bodies tremble as they speak, in tears, about events that changed their lives forever.
For Bakira Hasecic, the 55-year-old head of the Women Victims of War (WVW) association, there is no way anyone can turn the trauma of Bosniak women into film.
“What we have gone through cannot be filmed,” says Ms Hasecic in Sarajevo. Originally from Visegrad in Bosnia, she is also victim of repeated rape and has dedicated her life to finding the perpetrators and bringing them to justice…
The international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, along with domestic courts in Sarajevo, have so far passed sentences totalling 500 years against the perpetrators of the mass rape of Bosniak women.
“It’s for us to tell the truth,” says Jasmina, a survivor and a prosecution witness in several cases. She and her young daughter were raped in Foca in 1992. “But I’m not satisfied [with the prison sentences], a couple of years and that’s it. And every statement I give opens up the old wounds that can never go away.”
Angelina Jolie has cut short the shooting of her first film in Bosnia after rumours that it portrayed a relationship between a rapist and his victim sparked protests from women who were raped during the civil war.
Jolie had originally planned to spend 10 days shooting scenes in Bosnia, but now filming will be completed in just three or four days, said Edin Sarkic, her Bosnian producer. Jolie herself will only briefly visit the set, he said.
…Bosnian victims of sexual violence during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s have written to the United Nations suggesting the actor and film-maker does not deserve her “goodwill ambassador” status because she ignored their concerns over a forthcoming film.
Jolie started shooting her directorial debut – a love story between a Muslim woman and a Serb man set during the country’s civil war in the early 90s – in Bosnia in October…Jolie soon came in for criticism from Bosnia’s Association of Women Victims of War after she failed to meet members to discuss the stories.
…[T]he Association remains angry at what it sees as Jolie’s “ignorant” attitude and has now written to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), for which Jolie is a goodwill ambassador.
“Angelina Jolie’s ignorant attitude towards victims says enough about the scenario and gives us the right to continue having doubts about it,” the group wrote.
“We have insisted [on meeting] Angelina Jolie since we don’t want to be wrongly presented in the world … Our voices are worthwhile and we should have got much more respect. Angelina made a big mistake. We feel that she did not act like a real UNHCR ambassador and we believe that she has no more credibility to remain the ambassador.”
Jolie said in a statement in October that it would be a shame if “unfair pressure based on wrong information” prevented her from shooting her movie. According to her synopsis, the movie is a wartime love story between a Serb guard in a prison camp and his former girlfriend, a Bosnian Muslim detainee. It does not contain any rape scenes.
Jolie asked her crew to shoot a few panoramic scenes in Bosnia earlier this year, but did not herself travel to the country. The rest of the filming has reportedly been completed in Hungary.
Bakira Hasečić, the Association’s head, told news agency AFP Jolie had invited the victims to meet her in Hungary, but they had refused the invitation.
“Crimes were committed here, in Bosnia, and we want to meet her here,” she said. “We wanted to talk woman to woman. She should have asked after the victims, come [to Bosnia] before the shooting to hear our voice. As far as we are concerned a love story could not have existed in a camp. Such an interpretation is causing us mental suffering.”
A similar report reveals that the number of Bosnian-Muslim rape victims is down from 60,000 to 20,000:
After initial problems with the permission to shoot a part of the movie in Bosnia, due to complaints by victims’ associations to local authorities, Jolie eventually had her team film only a few panoramic views earlier this month without being present herself in the Balkan country.
The 1992-1995 war between Bosnia’s Croats, Muslims and Serbs claimed some 100,000 lives.
Government officials estimate that at least 20,000 mostly Muslim women were raped during the conflict.
The most recent report is here (Dec. 2), and a Huffington Post blogger weighed in here:
The headlines scream “Jolie called insensitive to Bosnian rape victims!” and “Angelina Jolie called ignorant by Women Victims of War.” But if you read the story, and read their statement, it becomes quite clear that this group (however noble their work is up to this point) has used the media’s obsession with smacking down big celebrities as a way to get their name in the newspapers.
The statement released seriously trashes Jolie (calling her ignorant and asking for her goodwill UN ambassadorship to be stripped) for making a movie that COULD contain insensitive and/or inflammatory material and COULD “make light” of the plight of Bosnian rape victims. This may just be an attempt for the group to gain free attention and/or get a donation from Jolie or the studio funding her picture.
…The crux of their protests is that Jolie should have been expected to keep this specific group informed in every part of the filmmaking process, from screenwriting to casting to location scouting. Never mind that Jolie tried to set up a meeting in Hungary, but the group refused, wanting the meeting to take place in Bosnia (which is ironic, since such earlier “controversy” prevented the film from actually shooting first-unit footage in Bosnia). Furthermore, even if the script does not contain a “rapist and rape victim fall in love” subplot (which it allegedly does not), the group is still adamant that simply presenting a film involving a romantic narrative set in such a camp is unacceptable and has caused the group “mental suffering.”
…It’s tough to criticize something called “Women Victims of War” and the work they theoretically do, but the group is playing dirty pool.
I think this group, or at least its spokeswoman, wants a movie in which a Serb rapes no less than 50,000 women.
Unfortunately for them (or fortunately, if we’re speaking retroactively), it looks like out of the 50-60,000 supposedly raped women — I mean 40,000 — I mean 30,000 — I mean 20,000 — only 12 cases have been prosecuted. Which means that the above-mentioned, whopping 500 years-worth of sentences passed were passed for a mere 12 cases:
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — A U.N. official said Friday that a better job needs to be done in prosecuting rape cases that occurred during the Bosnian war nearly two decades ago, and in other armed conflicts worldwide.
U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallstroem, said only 12 cases have been prosecuted out of an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 victims in Bosnia, which shows “the magnitude of the problem.” She called it a “painfully slow” process.
And I guess she didn’t get the memo that the 50-60,000 figure has been updated to 20,000.
Another bit of Balkan rape trivia, which I happened to catch this week. From a 2003 item by Andy Wilcoxson, concerning the Muslim women and girls of Srebrenica when they didn’t feel like getting raped by the Muslim “men and boys” of Srebrenica:
Naser Oric’s men raped underage civilian girls from their own side, forcing Muslim women trapped in Srebrenica to cross the battle field and seek the protection of the Army of the Republika Srpska.
(Please note in the 1994 article linked in the paragraph above, the number “8,000″ referencing the number of soldiers in Srebrenica. Then begin to understand where the figure of “8,000 men and boys” came from.)
As I ended my last Jolie update, so I’ll end this one: If you’re among the masses still under the Islamo-Western-produced impression that there were tens of thousands of specifically Muslim women raped by specifically Serbs, please educate yourself via the preceding links.