Anderson Cooper: Angelina Jolie Goodwill Ambassador
The audience got a chance to ask today’s guest Angelina Jolie a few questions about her new movie, “In the Land of Blood and Honey” and her role as a humanitarian around the world.
First up, an audience member asked Angelina if the movie, based on the 1990s conflict in Bosnia, was entirely made up of true events. As it turns out, most of the script was gleaned from first-hand accounts or documentaries that Angelina watched during her research for the project. Many of the broader themes, however, deal with global issues that aren’t necessarily characteristic of the specific conflict in Bosnia. The movie digs deep into what happens after a lack of global intervention eats away at a suffering person in a conflict zone. It sounds like people from all walks of life can take something away from the themes presented in the film.
Another audience member wanted to know about Angelina’s future goals as a Goodwill Ambassador. While raising awareness is certainly an important task, she said, her future goals deal more directly with specific policies in a given area. Examples include enforcing a certain law aimed at humanitarian aid or using diplomacy to influence a government or politician.
Anderson Cooper: Women for Women International
Women for Women International founder Zainab Salbi was pulled from the audience to give a brief overview of her organization and the problems women face in war-torn parts of the world.
Salbi actually started the program in direct response to the war in Bosnia, where the rape and murder of women were commonplace. People saw the war and did nothing, she said, adding that the current conflict in Eastern Congo is even worse for the women involved. Anderson added the startling fact that the conflict is the worse since World War 2, as women are currently being targeted as a way to destroy family ties and entire villages. Often times, after a woman is targeted, their ashamed husbands kick them out of the village.
The program aims to send letters and $30 a month, from American women, to those in need. The money is to be used for an educational program that hopefully leads to gainful employment within a year.
Jolie expressed her respect and gratitude for Salbi and mentioned that the founder of Women for Women International was one of the first people to view “In the Land of Blood and Honey.”