December 6th, 2011
03:05 PM ET
Angelina Jolie says it was a shift to go from being the star to the director for her film "In the Land of Blood and Honey," but it sounds like the actress has taken to it well.
It was "great not to be in front of the camera," she said in an interview with "Nightline," but acknowledged that also being the screenwriter carried a new burden.
"When you're an actress, you use somebody else's words and you can always blame the director and the director can say the editor," Jolie says. "But the writer is the one that kind of sits alone in the room and writes what they think is funny, important, historical and topical."
The film is a drama centered on the Bosnian war of the early '90s with two central players being a Serbian soldier who re-encounters a Bosnian woman he'd had a romance with when she's imprisoned in a concentration camp.
Jolie explained that she wanted to take on such a difficult topic because "the important thing is to discuss and tackle [it]," she says in the "Nightline" interview, adding, "we felt this is a war that isn't talked about enough."
"I was thinking and meditating on these international themes of violence against women, lack of intervention and how human beings are changed and warped by war, and how some people come out stronger and some people are truly broken, " she went on.
The award-winning actress also ensured she had a local cast, all of whom she now counts as friends.
She told CNN at the New York premiere of "In the Land of Blood and Honey" Monday, "The cast allowed me learn about their conflict. I wanted to do a film that dealt with universal themes, [and] I couldn’t do it without people from all sides of the conflict. The cast is so brave and talented, [and] I get to be with my friends tonight, feeling nervous but very excited for the world to meet them."
However, Jolie's directorial presentation isn't without controversy: one author is alleging that she ripped him off.
In a lawsuit filed Friday, Croatian journalist James J. Braddock alleges that the plot of the 36-year-old director's "Blood and Honey" infringes on his 2007 book, "The Soul Shattering," reports Entertainment Weekly.
The writer outlines a reported four similarities between his text and Jolie's film, including the theme of a love story taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina during war times in the early '90s; a main female character of half-Muslim, Croatian descent; a plot line that finds the main female character being captured and held in a Serbian-controlled concentration camp; as well as a main male character torn between his love for the main female character and his role in the military.
According to EW, Braddock wants statutory damages and an injunction on "In the Land of Blood and Honey," which will open on December 23.
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