As a director, Angelina Jolie has been repeatedly drawn to stories about savage brutality visited upon innocent protagonists. Over the last 11 years she’s made four films in this vein.
They are In The Land of Blood & Honey (’11) — Serbs brutalizing Bosnian Muslims. Unbroken (’14) — Japanese soldiers brutalizing American POWs. First They Killed My Father (’17) — the fanatical Khmer Rouge brutalizing and murdering two million Cambodians in agrarian work camps.
And now her latest, an adaptation of Alessandro Baricco’s short novel “Without Blood”, about a young girl who witnesses the savage murder of her father and brother by his enemies, only to confront one of the killers as a middle-aged adult.
The film, due for release in late ’23, is set in a Mexico-like country during the early to mid 20th Century.
Variety‘s Nick Vivarelli has posted an interview with Jolie (8.26). They met while she was directing Without Blood at Rome’s Cinecitta Studios. Vivarelli doesn’t note the streak of fierce brutality that runs through all four of her films. He manages, however, to fling mud at Jolie’s ex-husband, Brad Pitt, with a slimey insinuation.
“Told in a series of flashbacks, Without Blood is a…complex work about violence, war and choices,” Vivrelli explains. Jolie: “This film raises different questions. There is no clear good and bad in this film, even though there is clearly bad, horrible, horrific and criminal behavior.”
Vivarelli’s next paragraph — a parenthetical — follows a train of thought: “This interview was conducted before an FBI report from 2016 leaked last week where Jolie alleged that Pitt assaulted her on a plane ride, leading to their divorce,” he writes.
In other words, with Jolie currently focusing on a film about “bad, horrible, horrific and criminal behavior,” she’s also grappling with memories of possibly similar behavior from her ex-husband aboard a private plane back in 2016.
This is called yellow journalism.