A Painter and a soldier

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Aleksandra Dukovska, Skopje

Every war has his its own painting. Art can be precise in freezing of human sufferings, struggles, death and bereaved feelings after death. It is unknown which is the painting of the Bosnian war that can artistically speak on such level of historically generated hate on the European ground after the Second World War. We do not know what Sarajevo’s Guernica painting would look like. It is unknown if someone paints personal stories of Bosnian war while the siege of Sarajevo. This war begs the question? Does the art can save individual from beset of war darkness?

Angelina Jolie’s director debut In the land of the blood and honey poetic attempt to leave in behind the film evidence on atrocities and human suffering during the Bosnian war follows the love story of a soldier and a women painter with different ethnic backgrounds. With no epic scenes of movies that speak on individual struggle during the time of war, such was in Spielberg’s Empire of the sun – Jolie’s movie has one message that is slightly different then existing opinions on Balkan wars in the nineties. The guilt for the atrocities, rapes and human humiliation has real name and surnames among the nationalities. The new wars cannot be collective guilt of one nation. It was my reading of this movie that belligerent individuals hungry for glorifying national myths are those responsible for seeding the hate and reopening of historical wounds. The closing scene of the movie is an auspicious sign on such conclusion.

Even though poetic in attempt to challenge the beauty of art and war cry and by that to assuage the fears and new hate Bosnian war created, In the land of blood and honey will not be an epic film of women suffering during it. It might be that Jolie, a member of Council on Foreign Relation, deliberately choose to follow love story instead really to focus on the raped women in Bosnian war, who suffered regardless of their nationality. After watching it, there is of course anger because the art, no matter how much we want cannot be arbiter in a time of madness. It presence can only hold to the moment when colors instead of life paints war criminals and easily explains what many westerners define as conflicting passion of Balkan people.

If divided linguistically by using Turkish meaning of Balkan as written signs of blood and honey, than the title of the movie is correct in the explanation of the passion and hate on this ground. Further, it is real insight of the team who created it, the open the movie with the song of one of the greatest rock-bands from ex-Yugoslavia, Belgrade’s Ekaterina Velika.

Only real Balkan settlers from eighties can recall the time when music created in the former federation was passionate fighter against the war. That is catchy point in the movie that speaks on the generation of Bosnian’s captured in the vicious circle of history replaying.

What In the land of blood and honey avoids to answer is do the war is necessary for next generation to live in peace. In a place as Bosnia with such convergence of civilizations and past, only people are those who can live in peace together.