Celebrity Leadership, Political Cowardice

Nicholas Kristof’s recent column on celebrity human rights activism and leadership highlights Angelina Jolie’s new movie “In the Land of Blood and Honey”. The movie, which Jolie wrote and directed, is the story of a Bosnian Serbian man and a Bosnian Muslim women. It is about love and it is about genocide. Perhaps fittingly it has evoked controversy worthy of the complicated Bosnian War.

But Kristof's deeper point relates to the dearth of moral courage and political leadership. The messageof the film and of the op-ed are linked: Crimes against humanity will be prevented only when the cowards explanation of “no one knew” or "nothing could be done " is understood widely and rejected by political leaders as the moral failing that it undoubtedly is. 

Culture, in this case through a movie and a popular op-ed writer, exposes the complexity of human nature, the devastation of war, and the need for political courage.

Photo by Dean Semler/FilmDistrict and GK Films.