SEE London and the Balkans

posted by sab on 2006/11/02 22:54

[ SEE London and the Balkans ]

As some attentive readers may have already noticed in previous posts, this blogger has now finally moved to London. Once the settling-in process has reached more comfortable levels and there is more time, I would like to dedicate more space to the London-Balkan relations I hope to discover - anyway, here is the first London/Balkan event announcement for December:

New Bosnian Cinema 2006
30 November – 3 December 2006
Riverside Studios, Crisp Road,
Hammersmith, London W6 9RL

The Bosnian Institute, in partnership with Sarajevo Film Festival, Europe’s most dynamic young film festival, brings a third season of the best new features and shorts by Bosnian film makers and producers to Riverside Studios. More than 10 years after the end of the 1992-1995 conflict the war and its aftermath remains the dominant theme in Bosnian cinema. We see explorations of the shattered society in which those who survived must live and the enduring traumas they face – themes often treated with humour and irony. The films take us on an intimate journey through Bosnia’s recent past and present.

Jasmila Zbanic’s debut feature Esma’s Secret - Grbavica addresses one of the most shocking aspects of the war – the rape of thousands of women – by looking at the story of one woman and her young daughter, who does not know how she was conceived. Go West by Ahmed Imamovic follows the plight of a gay couple during the war – a theme which provoked much controversy and debate in Bosnia, including death threats against the director. Nafaka, a first feature by Jasmin Durakovic, tracks the inhabitants of a Sarajevo neighbourhood during the war and the uneasy peace that follows. The first film to be co-produced by all the countries of the former Yugoslavia (the Bosnian producer was director Ademir Kenovic), and starring the Bosnian actor Emir Hadzihafizbegovic, is Border Post by veteran Croatian director Rajko Grlic; the film looks back at Yugoslavia shortly before its disintegration, when young men from all the different republics came together to carry out their military service.

But other themes are beginning to appear - Damir Niksic’s If I Wasn’t Muslim comments on the complexity of religious and cultural identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Faruk Loncarevic’s Mum ’n’ Dad shows the conflict between an elderly couple filmed in the style of a reality TV show. Meanwhile, Danis Tanovic, Oscar-winning director of No Man’s Land, has moved into the European mainstream with Hell, based on a trilogy originally conceived by Krzysztof Kieslowski and screenwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz and starring French superstars Emmanuelle Beart and Carole Bouquet.

For tickets contact:

Riverside Studios
Crisp Road
London W6 9RL

Box Office: 020 8237 1111
Daily 12.00-21.00
Book online at:

Ticket prices: all film double bills £6.50 (£5.50 concessions).
To see all 16 of the best of new Bosnian films buy a Festival Pass for only £20

For further information:

The Bosnian Institute
14-16 St Mark’s Road
London, W11 1RQ

Tel: + 44 20 7243 2900
Fax: + 44 20 7243 8874


All films certificate 15 with English subtitles.

Thursday 30 November

8.30PM Double Bill

If I Wasn’t Muslim
Damir Niksic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2004, 7 m

Paraphrasing Tevye’s monologue from Fiddler on the Roof, this artist’s video comments on the stereotyping of Muslims in Europe and the complexities of cultural and religious identity in Bosnia. The video was originally presented to great acclaim as an installation at the New Temple Gallery in Sarajevo, a former Jewish synagogue.

Plus at 8.40PM

Go West
Idemo na zapad
Ahmed Imamovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2005, 95 m

Milan and Kenan are a gay couple. Milan is Serb, Kenan is Muslim; war is about to break out. The two flee to Milan's home village waiting for an opportunity to escape to the Netherlands. Witnessing the brutality of Serb militia toward Muslims, Milan disguises Kenan as a woman and presents him as his wife. A groundbreaking film that was first to address issues of homosexuality in Bosnia.

Followed by a Q&A with producer Samir Smajic

Friday 1 December

7.30PM Double Bill

Frame for the Picture of my Homeland
Ram za sliku moje domovine
Elmir Jukic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2005, 15 m

A small town in Bosnia 1992, the Muslim festival of Eid. Unaware they are on the eve of war everyone is celebrating together: Muslims, Serbs and Croats. Years later a photograph taken during the feast is the only document that can identify a war criminal on the run.

Plus at 7.45PM

Esma’s Secret - Grbavica
Jasmila Zbanic, Austria / Bosnia-Herzegovina / Germany / Croatia, 2006, 90 m

Single mother Esma lives with her 12-year-old daughter Sara in Sarajevo. A certificate proving Sara’s father was a war martyr would allow her a discount on a school trip, but Esma avoids Sara's requests for the certificate. When Sara discovers her mother has paid full price for the trip she aggressively demands the truth about her father. Winner of the 2006 Golden Bear at Berlin.

Followed by a Q&A with Jasmila Zbanic

Saturday 2 December

1.00PM Double Bill

Prva plata
Alen Drljevic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2005, 13 m

Not far from Sarajevo an illegal betting shop has been set up – taking bets on the life or death of men riding a motorbike through a minefield. Muris, one of the motorcyclists, comes out of his deadly ride alive. His hungry family celebrates his first "paycheck", not knowing the truth of how he earned it.

Plus at 1.15PM

Skies Above the Landscape
Nebo iznad krajolika
Nenad Djuric, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2006, 84 m

Mehmed the shepherd sits on a wild Bosnian mountain top. A beautiful young woman parachutes to earth close to where he is sitting; she appears to need Mehmed’s help, but unfortunately she speaks only French. From that moment an innocent love story full of comic cultural clashes begins, spiced with the lives of people from the mountain.

3.30PM Double Bill

Totally Personal
Sasvim licno
Nedzad Begovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2005, 72 m

An original and heart-warmingly funny meditation by artist/director Begovic on his family, the war, Sarajevo, and the art of film. Narrating the story himself, he shares his memories through a series of loosely-connected vignettes - from having the first television on the block, to life as a successful young communist when Bosnia was part of Tito´s Yugoslavia.

Plus at 5.00PM

Jasmin Durakovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2006, 110 m
Ahmed and Lana, Red Eye and Jennet Hugh, Sado and Saba, Sahbej, Beba, Nemanja, Meli, Marks, Matan, Pepper, Jimm and Nicollo... residents of a neighbourhood in Sarajevo whose war and post-war lives the film documents. They endure the war and its traumatic aftermath in different ways, but still ultimately believing in the possibility of a happier life. A favourite with audiences at the 2006 Sarajevo film Festival.

7.45PM Double Bill

Statement 710399
Izjava 710399
Refik Hodzic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2006, 54 m

Eleven years after the genocide in Srebrenica, one of the fathers of the missing sons tries to reveal the truth about his disappearance. A suspenseful and moving documentary.

Plus at 9.00PM

Border Post
Rajko Grlic,
Austria/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Croatia/Hungary/Macedonia/Serbia/Slovenia/UK, 94 m

Yugoslavia 1987. A group of bored conscripts are counting the days to the end of their military service at a post on the Albanian border. Among them are Sinisa, a young medical student from Croatia, and his best friend Ljuba, from Serbia. But the drunken Commander Pasic makes an unpleasant discovery and events spiral out of control.

Sunday 3 December

1.00PM Double Bill

Borderline Lovers
Ljubav na granici
Miroslav Mandic, Bosnia-Herzegovina/Czech Republic, 2005, 84 m

Three young couples dare to be in love, against the odds of their families, war and ethnicity. A documentary about frontiers that just a decade ago were frontlines. A sharply observed study of mixed marriage between Muslims, Serbs and Croats from Sarajevo, Mostar and Dubrovnik.

Plus at 2.45PM

Mum ‘n Dad
Mama i tata
Faruk Loncarevic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2006, 65 m

The story of an elderly ‘socialist-traditionalist’ couple where the balance of power in the family shifts after ‘Dad’ has a stroke. Though ‘Dad’ has difficulties in communicating he is still physically strong. When ‘Mum’ takes advantage of the situation to set some old quarrels straight, ‘Dad’ opposes it in the only way he can - with physical force.

4.10PM Double Bill

Homage to Benjamin Filipovic 1962 - 2006
A tribute to the director Benjamin Filipovic who died earlier this year.


Mizaldo, End of Theatre
Mizaldo, kraj teatra
Benjamin Filipovic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1994, 72 m

Filipovic’s famous ‘commercial’ for Sarajevo filmed during the war starring Bernard-Henry Levy as himself. The film’s title is the word "odlazim" (I’m leaving) in reverse. Sarajevo, the mythical city of the Bosnian war, is presented chiefly as a theatre for the Western world - an ideal location for advertisements.

Plus at 5.50PM

Well-Tempered Corpses
Dobro ustimani mrtvaci
Benjamin Filipovic, Slovenia/France/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Italy, 1994, 94 m

Two bored coroners at Sarajevo city morgue bet on the number of corpses that will come in by a certain time, knowing nothing of the chain of events that will resolve the bet. Even the coroners aren’t prepared for the bizarre group of relatives, friends and associates who arrive to claim the bodies. A darkly humorous tale set in post-war Bosnia.

7.45PM Double Bill

The Dream Job
Posao snova
Danijela Majstorovic, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2006, 51 m

A Bosnian country girl comes to town to join a girls’ band; she can’t sing, but she is young and beautiful. A tragicomic critique on the position of women in entertainment cut with interviews with different generations of female singers, it leaves room for the audience to come up with their own conclusions.

Plus at 8.55PM

Danis Tanovic, France/Belgium/Italy/Japan, 98 m

Sophie, Celine and Anne are sisters. They live in Paris, but rarely meet. When the mysterious Sebastian appears and starts to take an interest in Celine, a long-hidden family secret brings the sisters together. This lush drama is a change of pace for the Oscar-winning director of No Man’s Land. With Emmanuelle Beart and Carole Bouquet.


< previous Posting next >

Topic next >>


The imagineSEE-weblog is a space about ideas, images, (re)inventions and (re)constructions of and about the Balkans, from outside and within SEE.

Any comments or suggestions are welcomed and appreciated, please use "Reply" at the end of each posting or post directly to Sabine Ballata.

This is a part of the collage 'The Black File' by Croatian artist Sanja Ivekovic, who will be represented at documenta 12 (16/6-23/9) in Kassel this year.

> RSS Feed RSS 2.0 feed for Kakanien Revisited Blog imagineSEE