- - Sunday, February 26, 2012

Empty theaters greet Jolie film in Serbia

Screenings of Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut in Serbia have attracted just a handful of viewers, local media say — “more than the movie deserves,” one daily reported Friday.

“In the Land of Blood and Honey” — a drama set during the Bosnian war about a Serb soldier who finds his ex-lover, a Muslim woman, among sex slaves in a camp — has triggered mixed emotions in the postwar Balkans.

It received a standing ovation in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, but has sparked outrage among Serbs, who have blasted the movie as propaganda designed to portray them as the bad guys of the 1992-95 Balkan wars.

Serbian newspaper reports Friday described the film’s opening as a “fiasco.” Only 12 people attended the earliest screening in a movie theater in central Belgrade, and some left before the end, reports said.

“More police were there than viewers,” a cinema employee said.

Nationalist Press daily wrote that “the film is so bad that it warrants no reaction.” It added that only five people turned up for a “ghostly empty” screening in another cinema — “more than the movie deserves,” it said.

In stark contrast to Serbia, thousands have seen Ms. Jolie’s movie in Croatia and Bosnia. In both countries, Ms. Jolie attended red-carpet premieres along with top dignitaries.

Tens of thousands of people were killed in the war, which pitted the country’s Serbs against Muslims and Croats.

Serbs have been widely blamed for most of the atrocities in the conflict, which is considered to be Europe’s worst bloodshed since World War II.

Jackson doctor denied bail while appealing conviction

A Los Angeles judge refused to release Michael Jackson’s doctor on bail while he appeals his conviction for involuntary manslaughter in the pop star’s death.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor rejected Conrad Murray’s bid for bail during a hearing Friday. Murray was not present.

Judge Pastor said Murray is a flight risk and would be a danger to society if he tries to practice medicine again.

Jackson died after being injected with the surgical anesthetic propofol in June 2009 while in Murray’s care.

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