Angelina Jolie's Most Inspiring Moments

On her 40th birthday, look back at how the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award has helped others over the years

MAKING MOVIES WITH A MESSAGE

Jolie Pitt made her directorial debut in 2011 with the film In the Land of Blood and Honey, a romantic drama about the Bosnian war of the 1990s. Writing the movie started "as an excuse to get out some of my frustrations [with] the international community and justice issues," she told Marie Claire. "Then somehow it slowly ended up being read by Brad [Pitt], and then friends." With her second directorial effort, Jolie brought the story of Louis Zamperini, the late Olympic runner and World War II prisoner of war, to the big screen in Unbroken. "Angelina is a human dynamo, and I know she will tell this story in the right way," he said before his passing.