'Blood and Honey' Is Cathartic for Bosniak Actor

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vanesa Glodjo, a film actor and Bosniak survivor of the war, says having a role in Angelina Jolie's "In the Land of Blood and Honey" brought catharsis. Now, she writes, war wounds that were too-tightly bandaged by silence have a chance to heal.

(WOMENSENEWS)--Before working in "In the Land of Blood and Honey," I didn't have the strength to speak about the Bosnian war.

I lived through it as a young person, and -- for better or worse -- youth takes what comes. We accepted that the war was simply part of our lives. When it was over, we tried to close the subject . . . and not speak of it anymore.

That's the way it was with the war. It was unspeakable. We didn't go back. I didn't go back.

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Because of this film a silence has been broken around the taboo topic of war in my country. A conversation is starting. We are starting to remember what we managed to hide away for so many years.

Those who see the film, especially the people who lived through the war, are finally getting to cry over what they lived through, finally getting a chance to realize "I am here and I survived."

When I started making this movie, playing the role of Lejla, the sister of the main character, the floodgates of hidden and suppressed memories and emotion lifted. I saw, yet again, the complete horror and terror of what it was.

The writer speaks freely about what she knows; it comes from inside. In the process, she works through the pain and shares it with others. It is the same for painters, musicians, composers and directors. But, as actors, we have to be chosen. We have to be given our lines to say. What was unique in making this movie with Angelina Jolie, the film's writer and director, is that we were given exactly the lines we wanted to say.

I realized how much I wanted--how much I needed--to say those very lines.

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