Angelina Jolie spoke before a Japanese audience regarding her upcoming directorial debut of ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey.’ In discussing the film, Jolie turned the spotlight to sexual violence that occurs in war zones.
Jolie is the special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres . Her hope is to instill inspiration within viewers to take global action to make a change. The ‘Salt’ actress stated, “When I started down the road, making this film, I thought only of telling a story and doing my best to try to give a voice to survivors,” she said. “But today I am here not only as a director, but as a campaigner, and a part of a global effort that is growing every day.”
The film promotion surrounding ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey,’ focuses on the Bosnian war that tore apart the Balkan region back in the 1990s. Two people from different sides, Danijel (Goran Kostic) a soldier fighting for the Serbs and Ajla (Zana Marjanovic) a Bosnian held captive in a camp overseen by Danijel, connect. The two fall in love among the dark environment captivating their nation. Jolie urged Japanese viewers to keep the awareness campaign going to prevent the rape against women in war zones.
The impression of this plea to the Japanese is especially significant. The country suffered a black mark from the World War II actions of its militarist government. Hundreds of thousands of Asian women were made into “comfort women.” Forced to provide sex for Japanese soldiers – which remains a significant, diplomatic issue between Japan and South Korea. Jolie’s movie is slated to hit Japanese theaters on August 10.
Jolie arrived in Japan with long-time love Brad Pitt, and kiddos Pax, 9 and twins Knox and Vivienne, 5. Hundreds of fans showed up to show their love and appreciation for the ‘Wanted’ actress and family in tow. In April of 2012, Jolie was appointed as Special Envoy and UN High Commissioner for Refugees. This expanded role allows her to focus on global crises of major proportions in areas of displacement. She will be representing UNHCR at the diplomatic level, including meeting with decision-makers regarding global displacement issues. Previous to her appointment, Jolie served as a Goodwill Ambassador.
Jolie’s humanitarian involvement began in 2000 when she was on location in Cambodia for the ‘Tomb Raider’ movie. The actress felt drawn to the people and knew she wanted to make a change. Since her appointment as Goodwill Ambassador in 2001, Jolie has completed over 40 field missions, in some locations that are significantly remote. She is a celebrity voice representing the millions of displaced souls that walk the earth. The actress has received several awards for her efforts including a 10 year tribute for her humanitarian services, by the UN refugee agency.
Now, she links her movie promotions with her political causes, to bring a spotlight to the plight of millions of women who are raped in warzones. The actress continues to urge and push for sanctions against perpetrators. She said: “This is just a beginning. Our aim must be to shatter impunity, so that rape can no longer be used as a weapon of war anywhere in the world as it was in Bosnia, and as it is today from Congo to Syria.”