Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: FilmDistrict will issue the domestic release of Angelina Jolie’s feature directorial debut In The Land Of Blood And Honey in the native BHS language of Bosnia. The language, which was called Serbian-Croatian during the Bosnian War depicted in the film, is now called Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (Bosanski/Hrvatski/Srpski). The film will carry subtitles. FilmDistrict platforms the film December 23 in New York and Los Angeles and widens the release in January.

When Jolie shot her script, she filmed it both in BHS and English language, with the intention of reaching a broad audience around the world. Jolie clearly preferred to go for the authenticity of the native language. FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel and Bob Berney agreed with her after after they saw both versions within the past few days. “I’m honored that FilmDistrict has chosen to release the film in the United States in the original BHS-language version,” Jolie said in a statement. “It was always my hope that U.S. audiences would have the opportunity to experience this version.”

The drama is set in the backdrop of the Bosnian War that tore the Balkan region apart in the 1990s. The film tells the story of Danijel (Goran Kostic) and Ajla (Zana Marjanovic), Bosnians from different sides of the brutal ethnic war. As the conflict takes hold of their lives, the relationship between them changes, their motives and  connection to one another become ambiguous and their allegiances grow uncertain. The couple demonstrates the emotional, moral and physical toll that war takes on individuals, and the consequences stemming from the lack of political will to intervene in a society stricken with conflict.

The English-language version could be used in some overseas territories, and later when the film gets a VOD run in the U.S. and possibly on DVD.