Darren Franich
October 21, 2011 AT 09:06 PM EDT

Typically, when an actor makes the jump into the director’s chair, they prefer to make small films, straightforward character studies that plays to their strengths. Think of Denzel Washington directing Antwone Fisher, or Tom Hanks’ Larry Crowne, or Ben Affleck’s ever-expanding oeuvre of films set in Boston starring Afflecks. But there are exceptions. Think of Warren Beatty’s Red, or Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves — both big, burly, epic message movies about an overlooked period in history. To that list, you can now add In the Land of Blood and Honey, written and directed by Angelina Jolie. The film follows the strange romance between a Serbian soldier and a Muslim woman in war-torn Bosnia.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Read more:

Angelina Jolie struggled over title of Bosnian War movie — EXCLUSIVE

Fall Movie Preview: Angelina Jolie on ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’

Angelina Jolie: How She Earned Her Stripes

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