The 18th Sarajevo Film Festival closed this weekend after showing 210 movies over the past week, many of which were connected to the early 90’s conflict in the Balkans.
The Sarajevo Film Festival opened on July 6 with “Children” by the Bosnian director Aida Begic, which follows the lives of brother and sister Rahima and Nedim, whose parents were killed in the Bosnian war.
The movie, which takes place in 2009, 14 years after war, uses the battle of 23-year-old Rahima for custody of her under-aged brother, to explore all the issues of a transitional post war country, such as crime, delinquency and corruption.
Marija Pikic, a drama student from Banja Luka who plays Rahima in the film, won the “Heart of Sarajevo” for the best female performance. She said she was proud to have worked on the movie.
“The movie is about a generation in transition. I would not call them lost, but a generation that is struggling. We live in a time which has been shaped by the past. We belong to a generation that knows nothing of the time our parents speak about. We have stumbled into the hardest of times, and we don’t know what the future will bring,” Pikic told local media.
The best male performance award was given to Uliks Fehmiu, for his part in the Serbian movie “Redemption Street” – directed by Miroslav Terzic - which focuses on a war crimes investigation of a paramilitary unit which committed crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.
“War crimes and the horrors that happened have affected not just my life, but everyone’s life in the region, and this is why it was so easy for me to play this part”, said Fehmiu, who plays the part of a war criminal and former member of the paramilitary unit.
Several of the documentaries shown at this year’s festival also had connections with the Bosnian war.
“Exhibition”, a documentary by Boro Kontic, focuses on a series of photographs made by Milomir Kovacevic between 1986 and 1992 in Sarajevo.
Kovacevic photographed people during protests and actions aimed at stopping the warwhich eventually broke out in Bosnia in the spring of 1992.
The documentary “Boris with an I” by director Vesna Maric, tells the story of Boris Cikovic who left Sarajevo in May 1992, only to be killed when he was just 17 by a hooligan in Toronto, Canada.
This year’s Sarajevo Film Festival was attended by Hollywood actors Jeremy Irons and Angelina Jolie, the director of last year’s “Land of Blood and Honey”, which focused on the Bosnian war.