Angelina Jolie can engage her audience and get them to feel the emotions through her emotions. Her latest effort, however, was not on a film stage. Her visit to Bosnia to promote the Against War Rape campaign, is drawing attention to the cause, and the face she has given to all of the Bosnian war rape victims has been personified by her grief. It is reported that she cried during her talks with the victims.
There can be no doubt about the sincerity of Jolie’s reaction, but it is also remarkable that she recognizes what visual cues can accomplish, when done correctly, with sincerity, and of course, at the right moment. Her ability to showcase the vulnerability of others through her own vulnerable actions sets her apart from many other celebrities with their own noble causes. This in no way makes their contributions any less in value than what they put in; however, they may nonetheless be leaving value on the table.
If Angelina Jolie had not displayed this emotional force in her, and instead presented a stronger persona to those around her, including the media, this article would not be as interesting. Take for example, actress Brigitte Nielsen’s appeal, made to Denmark’s Ministry of Defense on the same day as Jolie’s Bosnia event, to end the use of live animals in military trauma training exercises. Her sincerity and concern for the cause can make a grown man cry, but it did not get the same media attention, and thus, a great cause in its own right may not get optimal attention.
On the same day, Noah director Darren Aronofsky shared his experience during previous productions involving live animals, and the alarming conditions they were kept in. This also did not generate much headlines.
Angelina Jolie’s list of charities and foundations include UNICEF, Afghanistan Relief Organization, Cinema For Peace, Women in the World Foundation, and many other great causes. She has become a true ambassador of Hollywood to the most recognized and active social services projects.
The impact produced by a photograph can be equal to that of a thousand words, but Jolie does not require more than a few words to get the message home. During her UNHCR visit to Lebanon in February 2014 to bring attention to the plight of Syrian children in the ongoing conflict, she said “they are so young, yet they are bearing the burdens of their reality as if they are adults.” Her words have the power to awaken the soul and cause it to ache for these children.
Angelina Jolie’s dedication to philanthropy and great causes is remarkable, especially considering that she is committed to so many causes, and as an active participant rather than a celebrity endorsement. Her donations have recently helped open a school for girls near Kabul, Afghanistan, something which is completely unheard of in that region. Her work to alleviate the plight of refugees in many countries seems tireless. She has set an example, and a high bar for others more privileged, to follow in her footsteps and cry for a cause.
Opinion by Amit Singh