Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut about the Bosnian war and a drama made by and starring her ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton will feature at the Berlin film festival next month, organisers confirmed.
Jolie will present her harrowing drama In the Land of Blood and Honey out of competition after winning praise in Bosnia for its unflinching take on the brutal 1992-1995 conflict, filmed in local languages with a home-grown cast. It will screen on the opening weekend of the event which is being held from February 9 to 19, organisers said in a statement.
Thornton, who won a screenwriting Oscar for his own first outing as a feature film director, 1996’s Sling Blade, will premiere his latest feature Jayne Mansfield’s Car in the competition for the Golden Bear top prize. The film, set in the 1960s, is about two clashing families and stars Robert Duvall and Kevin Bacon as well as Thornton, whom Jolie divorced in 2003 after three scandal-tinged years of marriage.
Other entries unveiled on January 9 include director Alain Gomis’s French-Senegalese production Aujourd’hui (Today), German art-house favourite Christian Petzold’s Barbara and Italian brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani with Caesar Must Die.
The festival, which ranks among the top three European film showcases, announced last week that it would open with a drama set around the French Revolution, Farewell My Queen, starring German-born Hollywood actor Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette.
British director Mike Leigh will chair the jury while two-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep will accept an honorary Golden Bear.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2012.