The dispute over Angelina Jolie’s directional debut began after its release in 2011, when a Croatian journalist James Braddock claimed that the film In The Land of Blood and Honey had been plagiarised from his book, The Soul Shattering.

The book was first published in 2007 under the title Salamanje Duse, along with a shorter version in English, entitled The Soul Shattering. According to Braddock, one of Blood and Honey’s producers, Edin Sarkic, who was credited with helping Jolie with getting the permits to film in Sarajevo, had read The Soul Shattering and the book had a heavy influence on the plot of Jolie’s film.

However, when the matter was taken before U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee, she determined that no breach of copyright had occurred. According to her, while both the book and the film contain scenes of rape and escape sequences, Braddock can't have claimed to have "invented the concept of rape as a war crime" and says that whatever similarities there are in this regard don't rise to substantial similarity, "particularly in light of the fact that those overlapping concepts are commonplace in books and films depicting war."

Angelina Jolie, ASC Awards
According to the court, Jolie did not plagiarise In the Land of Blood and Honey


She also wrote that "although Blood and Honey is also a story of love, it highlights the complications of romantic love during wartime" between its protagonists -- a Muslim artist and a Serbian military soldier. Her decision has now been made final and, while Braddock will have the chance to appeal, for now this makes Jolie the winner of the case.