Angelina Jolie refused permission to film war story in Bosnia
Angelina Jolie has been banned from shooting her directorial debut in Bosnia amid controversy over the film's storyline.
The government revoked a filming permit for the project, which Jolie has described as a love story between a Bosnian Muslim woman and a Serbian man who meet on the eve of the Bosnian war.
However, local media reported that the relationship becomes one between a rapist and his victim when the female character is incarcerated during the war. Women's campaigners attacked Jolie for romanticising a story of "a victim falling in love with her torturer".
Bakira Hasecic, president of the Women Victims of War group, had urged the authorities to ban filming "because of the script which offends a female war victim and distorts the truth about what that woman has suffered in a detention camp".
Filming was due to commence in Sarajevo next month but the Bosnian authorities revoked the permit. Gavrilo Grahovac, culture minister for Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation, said he annulled the licence because the paperwork was incomplete and the film-makers had not provided him with a script.
The production company, Scout Film, has now sent a copy of the script to the ministry in an effort to reassure them about the storyline. "The film has nothing to do with the allegation made by this women's association. It is only a love story," a spokesman said.
Jolie, who is a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations refugee agency, sent a letter to the women's group last week, offering to meet them in Sarajevo to discuss their grievances. "Don't judge me before you see the film," she said. The Oscar-winning actress has chosen local actors for her cast.