by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash
A few weeks ago I saw the movie that Hollywood sex symbol Angelina Jolie wrote and directed: In the Land of Blood and Honey.
It is the most impressive debut of an auteur filmmaker since Roberto Rossellini's Rome Open City.
Yes, I said Rossellini. (OK, Roma, Città Aperta came after his anti-fascist trilogy, but it was his big international debut.)
If you take the current crop of American actor-directors — Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, Ron Howard — not one of them has directed a movie which comes even close to the seriousness, intensity, depth and artistry of Jolie's rookie film.
Let alone write such a movie, which none of them can do.
Not one of them, in fact, has made an arthouse film. They don't make the kind of films you go and see at an arthouse; they make movies for duplexes.
But Jolie, in a blazing contrast, has created high-art cinema.
And not simply because of the serious nature of her subject — the brutal Bosnian War of the 1990s, when the Serbs genocided Muslims and mass-raped women in concentration camps.
But also because of her depiction of a somber love story amidst this horror.