"Do you remember what is was like, before the battles?"
First time director and screen writer Angelina Jolie seizes your attention with a powerfully ominous first scene that formulates the soul of what is to come. This work is essentially a self portrait of war and the horrendous atrocities that follow. War is hard at work killing, raping and humiliating people for nothing more than their belief in different ideas. Entire families are ripped apart and systematically gunned down and covered with earth. Cities are destroyed and memories are stained. Jolie's portrayal of these events are nothing short of numbing and for being such an icon of Hollywood, this film has all the artistic makings of a memorable indy flick. Outside of her choice to have the actors speaking English, there is a real feeling of authenticity to this movie and the eerie way she manipulates silence transforms these tragic events from abominable to haunting. I wish there was never a need to make this film but by reopening the wounds of this conflict, Jolie brings to attention to this abhorrent chapter in our modern history with hopes of teaching people about what took place in the early 1990's in Eastern Europe. Hopefully this film will serve as a reminder of the disastrous effects of war and at the same time remind all of us to treat each other with understanding and empathy. See this movie.