In the Land of Blood and Honey is being billed as Angelina Jolie's "writing and directorial" debut, but did she actually write it? Or did she adopt the movie's storyline from Bosnian-Croatian journalist/writer James J. Braddock's 2007 novel The Soul Shattering without his permission?
Braddock claims the latter, and has just filed a federal lawsuit against Jolie in which he seeks damages for copyright infringement. In an online statement, he alleges that the famous food absconder "used (copied, stole) crucial elements" of his book—"dissecting and reducing it into a banal love story that would be impossible" during the Bosnian war of the 1990s (the setting for Jolie's film). Meanwhile, Radar has obtained a copy of the official suit and reprinted this excerpt:
"The Subject Work's main female character is subject to continuous abuse and rape by soldiers and officers in the camp. In addition to being raped continuously by soldiers and officers, she is forced to become a servant at the camp headquarters, a duty assumed by very few of the captives. The Motion Picture's main female character is also subject to continuous rape by soldiers and officers in the camp and subsequently becomes a servant at camp headquarters."
Sounds pretty similar—but if you described every Hollywood movie ever made in such vague detail, you'd achieve the same level of similarity among thousands of movies. (There are only about 10 story lines in Hollywood, including "man falls in love with woman but there's a problem, and Jennifer Aniston is coincidentally involved," "couple goes on a murder spree while surreptitiously endorsing products intended to generated visceral responses from the audience," and "everything gets blown up when the aliens/action hero/wartime enemies come.") Braddock claims his story is "the only one of its kind"; we'll see if the court agrees. Meantime, in the court of his own opinion he's already "a winner." Take that, Skinny Surviving Pretty Mom.