Bosnian authorities on Wednesday revoked permission for US star Angelina Jolie to shoot part of her directorial debut film there after complaints from a women war victims group, Bosnian radio reported.
Gavrilo Grahovac, the Culture Minister of the Muslim-Croat federation — one of the two entities in post-war Bosnia — revoked permission to shoot scenes in Sarajevo and the central town Zenica, he said on Bosnian radio.
Hollywood trade daily Variety reported that the film will tell the story of a Serbian man and Bosnian woman who fall in love in the middle of the war, but are driven to take different paths.
However Bosnian press reported the movie would be a love story between a Muslim victim and her rapist, a Serb, causing outrage among victims’ groups.
“They no longer have the authorisation to shoot in Bosnia. They will have it if they send us the scenario with a story which will be different from what we have been told by people who read it,” Grahovac told the radio.
The culture minister said that while he could not stop the film from being shot somewhere else, revoking the filming license was a way to “express our disapproval for the shooting of a movie which does not tell the truth and hurts a large number of victims”.
Jolie has already started shooting the film in Hungary and was planning to continue it in Bosnia.
According to Bosnian actress Zana Marjanovic, who has landed the lead in the movie, the film is “an epic drama against the backdrop of the 1992-92 Bosnian war”.
But women war victims groups were up in arms over the film’s reported subject of a rapist and his victim falling in love.
“This is misleading history. Among thousands of testimonies by women raped during the war, there is not a single one that tells of a love story between a victim and her rapist,” Bakira Hasecic, the head of the “Women victims of war” association in Sarajevo, told AFP.
“We will not allow anyone to falsify our pain,” she added.
International organisations have estimated that thousands of women were raped during the Bosnian war.
In February 2001, the UN war crimes court for the former Yugoslavia convicted three Bosnian Serbs for crimes against humanity and war crimes after they were found guilty of rape and forced prostitution of Bosnian Muslim women in the southeastern town Foca.
The verdict marked the first time an international court had ruled that rape was a crime against humanity.