I will not watch Angelina Jolie’s new movie. I won’t even name it. I know what it’s about. She has said it’s a love story about a Bosnian Muslim woman in love with a commander of a Bosnian Serb concentration, and, err, rape camp. He kills her in the end. It’s fictional, it’s Hollywood, it is not based in truth, and it’s a product of someone’s imagination. I really do not appreciate imagination that puts my people in a negative spotlight and I won’t pay to see it. Nor should you, nor should any self-respecting Serb or a friend of Serbs.
It’s not important to discuss the movie itself or the motivation behind making it. It’s not even about Jolie, who just tried to erase her cheap Tomb Raider legacy and thought directing a movie would reflect more sophistication on her part than just playing in movies. I won’t dwell on Angelina. She’s making money, more power to her. The question is, whose money will she be lining her pockets with? Clearly, this movie is anti-Serbian as it depicts a situation that presents Serbs as mass rapists. Enough said. I won’t give my money to someone who deliberately vilifies my people. Yes, it’s Hollywood, it’s fiction, it projects a negative image of Serbs onto people that come to see it for popcorn and Coke and do not really care nor will their opinion matter. In fact, nothing will change in the Western view of Serbs because of this movie. Most Americans, after Serbs spent an entire recent decade in global spotlight as bad guys, would ask me after finding out my ethnic origin: “Oh, it’s very cold there, right?” confusing Serbia with Siberia. That’s all I have to say about that, as a favorite movie character would say to close a subject.
It is important how Serbs will view this movie and in fact, whether they will view it at all. Viewing it, unless you download a pirated version, would mean giving money to the people that thus vilified the Serbian nation. Any informed and non-self-hating Serb knows the portrayal of Bosnian Serbs as mass rapists and genocidal murderers is disgustingly false. Any informed and objective non-Serb knows this as well as evidence against such notions is overwhelming and clear. I won’t sit here and compound that knowledge by repeating oft cited investigative results of all sorts. What I may cite won’t enlighten you if your mind wasn’t open enough already to make an effort and consult legitimate resources before accepting a Hollywood-projected image. This being said, you should save yourself time and stop reading here if you are a serbophobe. If you accept the facts and you recognize the injustice done to pan-Serbian reputation by the carriers of anti-Serb propaganda, you will not pay Angelina Jolie to see her movie.
It’s your money – it’s nothing to me, but it does hurt to know that a Serb or a friend of Serbs would support the continued vilification monetarily. Yes, if you pay your movie ticket you are supporting the entire production and distribution chain that demonizes the Serbian people. Of course, you can see it and criticize it and no one will care, no one will hear your voice, the movie will not be cancelled. The only way to actually inflict damage on such anti-Serb orchestrations is to keep them from making money. Its primary objective is to make money. A possibility that Angelina has already been paid handsomely by moneyed Islamic fundamentalist interests that are fighting their own war in the Southeast Europe is not out of question, but these are smart people that prefer to invest in real propaganda and in building a mosque at every mile from Tuzla to Zvornik.
Back to you paying for anti-Serb demonization… Yes, the eleven dollars you will leave at the box office is nothing to you, but you nevertheless paid someone to vilify Serbs. If for nothing else, you should abstain from paying for the movie to ensure peace of your consciousness. We can’t lead our lives in a Western country thinking every day of how to avoid contributing to its anti-Serb efforts. Quite honestly, it is a mission impossible, as we at least have to pay taxes that are spent on financing the robbery of Serbian lands. All we can do is leave, and many in Serbian diaspora see that as a non-option. But here, in this specific case, we can definitely refuse to give our contribution to anti-Serb propaganda. Think of all the honest, brave Serbs who heroically fought to carve a state that would give them freedom and protection from the onslaught of the ideology that left them with a blood-stained memory in the World War II. Think of all the orphaned Serb children in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo whose stories won’t find themselves in front of Angelina Jolie’s camera lens. Think of all the destroyed Serb homes, families, holy places, all the horror stories that no Hollywood scenario will ever capture. If Jolie wanted to relay Bosnian trauma to her audience through a real inter-ethnic love story, why didn’t she base her scenario in one? There were plenty, but none of them would leave viewers with the impression of Serbs as rapists and murderers, so none was good enough for her.
Bosnia was a multi-ethnic society before the war, unlike now, in which men and women of all three religions mixed into love relationships and marriages. Plenty of tragic love stories were written in this war-torn place, well worthy of a Hollywood movie, but Jolie used tragic love as a red herring to vilify Serbs. I get it: the negative Western public opinion of Serbs has been malnourished in recent years, while the truth has been slowly seeping through in the form of forensic reports, witness accounts, court testimonies, books and documentaries. The world had to be reminded that Serbs were evil-doers because the viability of the Bosnian quazi-state hangs on refreshing this notion constantly. Jolie was enlisted in the service of this enterprise, maybe even played for a fool, but it shouldn’t matter to us. The seriousness of the effort and the specific nature of the movie’s content place her among Serbian enemies regardless of the fact that the movie won’t have its intended effect. All self-respecting Serbs and Serbian friends should boycott this movie and perhaps all of her future creations. I won’t go into who else we should boycott in relation to this matter, because Angelina Jolie is the face of this creation and it is her name recognition that gives marketing weight to the movie. She is the pitchperson and it is her movie. If you want to go down the chain, do your research and have at it.
It’s time Serbs show solidarity and focus, recognize and refuse to reward their enemies and hit back where it hurts the most – the wallet. Even if you think that your eleven dollars withheld make no difference and even if you doubt that the refusal of all Serbs and Serbian friends to pay Angelina will significantly cut into her profits, think again and do the math. Finally, forget the money aspect and do it out of pride.