Author says 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' lifted from his book

A journalist and author in Croatia has filed a copyright infringement suit against Angelina Jolie and the producers of the upcoming movie she directed, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” claiming that the project is lifted from his book “The Soul Shattering.”

James J. Braddock, who lives in Zagreb and covered the Bosnian war, filed his suit in U.S. District Court in Illinois and is seeking damages and an injunction preventing the release of the movie. In addition to Jolie, GK Films, FilmDistrict, Scout Film and producer Edin Sarkic are named as defendants.

Braddock’s book, originally published in 2007 in the native langauge of Croatia, is an account of the tragedies suffered by Bosnian and Herzegovinian women and children during the war there.

He said in his suit that “In the Land of Blood and Honey” “copies key plot elements, themes, characters, events, sequences and settings” of his book. For instance, he points out, both the book and the movie portray a love story during the war in the early 1990s. The book and the film have a main female character, living near Sarajevo, who is captured and held in a Serbian concentration camp located in a village, the suit states. The book and the movie have a main male character who is a camp commander whose father is a high-ranking “Greater Serbian” nationalist and important officer of the Yugoslav People’s Army.

Braddock claims that after his book was published, he met with Sarkic at least three times to discuss details of the book, “including plot and character development and the story’s culturual significance and historical accuracy.” The conversations then evolved into pursuing a movie.

Braddock also says that he contacted LaToya King of the Make It Right Foundation, which gets major support from the Pitt-Jolie Foundation, with the idea of partnering to build houses in Sarejevo and New Orleans and elsewhere. He said that he sent the e-mail to King without knowing that Sarkic was working with Jolie on “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”

A spokesman for the producers of the movie could not immediately be reached.

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