News 07 Sep 15

Film on Plight of Kosovo Serbs Bids for Oscar

‘Enclave’, a drama that follows the lives of Serbs who continued to live in Kosovo after the war, has been chosen as the Serbian candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the Oscars.

Ivana Nikolic
A still from 'Enclave'. Photo: Facebook.

Goran Radovanovic, the director of ‘Enclave’, which focuses on the plight of a lonely Serb child in Kosovo, told BIRN that it was important that the film had been suggested for an Oscar because it puts the neglected theme of Kosovo’s Serbs in the spotlight.

“I am dealing with this issue due to the enormous national significance it has. This is a very contemporary topic and not just a local one. It is about the conflict between Islam and Christianity,” Radovanovic said.

The film takes the audience back to 2004 in the aftermath of ethnically-charged unrest across Kosovo that left 19 people dead and caused many Serbs to flee.

It follows 10-year-old Nenad, who lives in a small Serb enclave with his father and grandfather. The only other remaining Serbs are an Orthodox priest and a teacher. Nenad is the only Serb pupil in a school and he is taken there every day in a military vehicle by NATO’s KFOR troops.

As there are no other Serb children in the enclave, his only friend is his sick grandfather, who eventually dies. The only other boys around are Kosovo Albanians, like 13-year-old Bashkim, who lost his father in the war and hates the Serbs.

Kosovo Serb enclaves are generally small, isolated settlements which face serious problems with unemployment and poor living conditions.

Radovanovic says there is a general feeling of helplessness in Serbia itself towards Serbs still living in Kosovo, but he hopes that the film will bring more attention to their situation.

“Thanks to the film, Kosovo Serbs again feel like they are in focus. I am glad that we are presenting this topic,” the director said.

“Everything now depends on the resources we will be given [by the Serbian authorities] to use for lobbying and presenting the film,” Radovanovic added.

Marko Djuric, the director of the Serbian government’s office for Kosovo, has praised the film.

"I hope that ‘Enclave’ will be shortlisted for an Oscar in its category and that this artistic description of the problems that the Serbian people face in Kosovo and Metohija will reach the widest audience and revive interest in the fate of Serbs in our southern province on an international level,” Djuric said on Friday.

The 88th annual Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, are set to be presented in February next year.

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