The story of Angelina Jolie's directorial debut revolves around a Serbian soldier and a Muslim woman against the backdrop of the Bosnian War, and as the title In the Land of Blood and Honey suggests, the movie is not just a typical romantic drama.
Jolie admitted that she had a tough time selecting the right name while picking a title for the movie. It's a heavy film. You want to find that title that really helps the audience know what they're walking into, she said. The final name was driving me crazy. I have lists and lists of titles all over.
And so, we have In the Land of Blood and Honey, and based on what the trailer suggests, yes, it's definitely going to be a very heavy film, with a strong romance at the center along with with tense film footage of warfare.
There are many twists in the plot that address the sensitive nature of the relationship between the main characters and that will be revealed once the film is released, Jolie said last year.
A Bosnian-Muslim woman (Zana Marjanovic) and a Serbian soldier (Goran Kostic) love each other; they do have a clear attraction between them, but the fact that they are on the opposite sides of the conflict makes all the difference, adding more intricacies to their already complicated relationship. Can they even trust one another?
This is the question that the trailer raises in our mind. A poignant piano score all along the trailer, coupled with the words across the screen reading Love can change what we want and War can change who we are, makes the question even more haunting.
The film is specific to the Bosnian War, but it's also universal. I wanted to tell a story of how human relationships and behavior are deeply affected by living inside a war, Jolie said.
In order to set that tone right and to tell the story authentically, Jolie opted to work with a completely local cast and filmed the project simultaneously in the English and Serbo-Croation, the language spoken at the time of the war.
In the Land of Blood and Honey is set for release in the U.S. on Dec. 23.