Women in Motion
I’m excited to introduce you to a new focus for OH: Women in Motion. Starting with today’s post, we will begin meeting women from around the world who have stories to tell about where they are in their lives right now. Some names you will recognize and some you will meet for the first time.
I hope the stories will help to open your eyes and heart and give new understanding to what individuals go through in life.
You may only know Angelina Jolie as the actress married to Brad Pitt; the woman who adopted three children from third world countries; and the actress who is a great big deal in Hollywood. She is all of those but I have discovered she is so much more.
Last December the movie she wrote and directed, In the Land of Blood and Honey, opened around the world but didn’t get a lot of press in the US. It wasn’t exactly a trendy topic; the long war in Bosnia. The movie is a very rich visual experience with exceptional acting and a beautifully written story of love and loss.
Here are some excerpts from an interview with Jolie and collide.com in December 2011 about her commitment to making a difference in the world and why she made a movie about Bosnia.
Question: What led you to this particular story?
Jolie: We wanted to make a film that’s universal and that could be anywhere, but I landed on Bosnia because I remembered it. It was my generation. I was 17. I remember where I was in the ‘90s, and I felt a guilt and responsibility for not knowing enough and not doing enough.
Question: Why did you decide to make this film so hard to watch for audiences?
Jolie: In order to get this message out, of wanting people to pay attention and wanting for timely intervention, and not just boots on the ground, but some kind of intervention and dialogue, and if we could make people feel that, in a visceral way while they’re watching it, and if they’re angry help is not coming, then that would be the conclusion that they would walk away with.
Question: There are some horrible atrocities depicted in this film, with rape, ethnic cleansing and the death of an infant. Was it difficult to re-enact and create those scenes, and to be there and see those moments?
Photo of Jolie from Collider.com
Joiie: The difficulty was that I met people who had been through those things and I had to tell their story.
Question: Since you do so much humanitarian work around the world and you see so much atrocity, is that what inspires you to write? Is the writing process a cathartic experience, based on your need to express what you’ve seen?
Jolie: I’ve also written a story about my mother, after she passed. They are things that I will never show anybody, but it is nice to spend time with people and characters, in this private world. Then, with the ones that have to do with history, it’s a great excuse to have to learn more. You start to focus your news and what you’re reading about. You’re pushed to get a better education, in different things.
Not only has she been named UNHCR Goodwill Ambasador since 2001 and the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards, she and her husband have their own foundation to raise money and awareness for people in conflict.
Let’s hope that this is the beginning of a writing and directing career in which she can tell the hard stories of life and war. By closing our eyes to war, the horrors won’t go away. The women involved in this project (who actually experienced it for three years) want people to see it so their experiences will be validated.
As with all new endeavors, OH will begin with one idea and morph into something else until it finds its path. I hope you find the women you will meet inspiring, thoughtful and helpful in gaining a better understanding of who we are as individuals and how/what we can contribute.
We’ll talk next week.