Sarajevo – Ilidza (Otes)

Number: BiH-307/2011
Date: September 12, 2011

Mr. Josip Knezevic (J. J. Braddock)
Zagreb, Republic of Croatia

Dear Mr. Knezevic!

Primarily, I must emphasize again that we - our Association, as well as every woman who personally experienced the worst horrors of this (Bosnian) war –  have no use for the world’s support (!?) when such support shows no results, while Angelina Jolie films a LIE, not our TRUTH!

She – Angelina Jolie - instead of elevating this tragedy (which is depicted in her movie) not only to an artistic level, but also to a more important, higher level (For God’s sake, she’s a woman, too!), she distorted the entire history and truth, degrading it into a bizarre love story which never happened, especially not in the vulgar and insulting way presented in her movie.

Even a clinically insane person could not, inside a concentration camp of that sort, fall in love in the way depicted in Ms. Jolie’s movie, first known as Untitled Love Story, and later renamed In the Land of Blood and Honey. She is trying to deceive the world public with the fallacy that a woman can fall in love with her torturer and executioner! Love in captivity is reserved for the closest – mothers, children, sisters, brothers; there is no love as depicted in that movie.

We raised our voice at the time, and we are raising it today, sending in this way a message, in the name of all women, regardless of ethnicity, against any violence, particularly the systematic rape perpetrated by Karadzic and Mladic through their puppets to which the Bosnian women were subjected! This is the story Angelina Jolie should have filmed, but our truth is not good enough to sell a movie. 

Mr. Knezevic, on behalf of our Association, we support you, your work, and your moving book The Soul Shattering  in your struggle to establish the truth and protect your rights. Your book describes in an emotional and heartbreaking manner exactly what we women – mothers, wives, and sisters - went through. The book is a tribute to all of us who survived and to those who did not; it is homage to all Humans and warning to all monsters; it is a testimony to historical events of the war and records them the way they really happened. The innocent have suffered in this “land of blood,” never the “land of honey.” Genocide did happen and the world must not forget! We did not!

Only those from the region can understand Bosnia, and nobody has the right to interpret or play with the history of this tortured country – neither with her present nor her future. The powerful believe that they can do it, but there is a higher power above them! Angelina Jolie’s attempt to degrade our tragedy and equate it with a love (!?) story in which all parties are guilty for the war is shameless.

She seeks to sustain her fame on the tragedy of this land and our own personal tragedies. With her movie she offends all the innocent victims, forges a new history, and thus creates a false and distorted picture of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Why is she doing it and on whose behalf? Only she knows the answer.

Ultimately, we do not care who is doing it - Angelina or anybody else; we women of Bosnia will always raise our voice against it. Regardless of the extent of the humiliation we suffered and the loss of our dignity at the hands of our inhuman captors, we have our pride and are opposed to such an approach to our history, our city, our homeland, and ourselves.

These are the reasons why we support your struggle for justice, truth, and your author’s rights; we support your project “The Bridge of Love,” which aims to connect cities like Srebrenica, Sarajevo, and Vukovar … This is necessary for our country, as well as Croatia and all other countries that have experienced similar crimes and destruction.

We would be happy to participate in your projects in any way.

Respectfully yours,

President of the Association

Bakira Hasecic