News 11 Jan 13

The majority starts here

Deep scars run through the Balkans, and a new generation now lives with these scars. In this documentary, six young adults testify about their lives in the Balkans today.  Six is an insignificant number. But they are adamant : “The majority starts here.”

Two decades after the start of the wars that pulled apart Yugoslavia, six youngsters from five different former Yugoslav republics and one former autonomous province take a trip together through their now independent countries.

Bardh, Djordje, Magda, Simona, Vanja, and Zvonimir are young and beautiful. They like video games and rock concerts. They like to sleep long and stay out even longer. They chat continuously – online and off line. They travel with smartphones and laptops, although their families certainly cannot be called rich. They can afford their gear because they combine their studies with part-time jobs.

When the wars in their countries started none of them was old enough to have more than vague, anecdotal recollections of what happened. Bardh from Kosovo has the clearest memories of the conflict, but even for him it’s the present that counts now.

 They are not ready yet to let go of their hopes – of life without borders. Without nationalism. Corruption. Dirty politics. Yellow media. 

They all know – deep inside themselves – that one day soon they will have to choose between staying in the Balkans or leaving the region. But for now they are putting off the painful decision. A big part of what tears them up is that leaving is egoistic. It means giving up on the communities in which they were raised.  They are not ready to do that yet- even if for their own sake they know they should.

The trip takes the youngsters from Sarajevo to the mountains of Montenegro, via Pristina to Skopje, up to Belgrade, to Osijek, the Croatian island of Hvar, and through Mostar back to Sarajevo. 

They share a basement, play paint ball, go rafting and carting, visit Vukovar, talk to war veterans, listen to refugees, hear Chetnik songs, laugh in Skopje, discover the clubs of Belgrade, dance, sing, swim, discuss, drink and cook together.

Six youngsters from six different Balkan countries. Astonished at how well they get along together. Surprised by the common ground they quickly find – even if it is partly based on common ignorance.

At the end of the journey none of them wants to leave. They all pledge to meet again – soon … but if that doesn’t work out, they say, at least sometime in the next two decades.

Are these young people representative of their generation? They answer in unison: “The majority starts here!”

Lode Desmet, Producer/Director 

The majority starts here

Deep scars run through the Balkans, and a new generation now lives with these scars. In this documentary, six young adults testify about their lives in the Balkans today.  Six is an insignificant number. But they are adamant : “The majority starts here.”

BIRN Launches Balkan Road-Movie Documentary

BIRN’s new documentary about young people and the legacy of war, The Majority Starts Here, was premiered in Macedonia with further screenings to follow across the Balkans.

New BIRN Movie Premieres in Belgrade

BIRN’s new road-movie documentary about young people and the legacy of war, The Majority Starts Here, was screened in the Serbian capital for the first time.

BIRN Road Movie ‘Shows Tolerance is Possible’

A Bosnian woman who appears in BIRN’s new documentary said the experience of shooting the movie with young people from other Balkan nations showed that a new generation can get along.

BIRN's 'Majority Starts Here' Greeted in Kosovo

BIRN’s new Balkan road-movie documentary, The Majority Starts Here, received a warm welcome at its premiere in Kosovo on Wednesday.

Travel and Tolerance in Focus at BIRN Zagreb Premiere

Young people who appeared in BIRN’s new documentary The Majority Starts Here spoke at its Croatian premiere about what they learned about the 1990s conflicts on their cross-Balkan journey.

BIRN Screens Youth and War Film in Novi Sad

After premieres in Skopje, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Zagreb and Pristina, BIRN’s new road-movie documentary The Majority Starts Here was screened in the Serbian city of Novi Sad.

Novi Sad Students Quiz BIRN on Transitional Justice

Students discussed journalism and transitional justice issues before BIRN launched its new documentary The Majority Starts Here in the northern Serbian city.

BIRN Documentary Airs on Al Jazeera Balkans and TV Vijesti

The first episode of BIRN’s documentary series The Majority Starts Here was screened on Al Jazeera Balkans on Sunday evening.

Belgraders Pack Cinema to See BIRN Documentary

About 200 people attended the screening on October 31 of BIRN’s Balkan road-movie documentary The Majority Starts Here in Belgrade.

About the Movie

Film follows youngsters' travels throughout ex-Yugoslavia where they witness the legacy of the conflicts of the 1990s


Cast

Crew