The Majority Starts Here

The film follows young people from six Balkan countries as they travel across the region witnessing the impact of the 1990s conflicts.

Deep scars run through the Balkans, and a new generation now lives with these scars.

In BIRN’s thought-provoking and sometimes emotional documentary film, six young people from six different countries travel across the Balkans together, discovering how nationalism, ethnic tensions and prejudice have shaped people’s lives and affected their own futures.

Along the way, they have dramatic face-to-face encounters with some of the ghosts of the past - impoverished wartime refugees, military veterans and unrepentant nationalists.

They see how nationalist ideas which led to war are still shaping the region’s economy, culture and even architecture, and wonder whether genuine tolerance and reconciliation can develop in places which have endured such divisive violence.

The Majority Starts Here was directed by award-winning film-maker Lode Desmet and has been screened to enthusiastic audiences in more than ten cities across the Balkans.

Watch the trailer

What they said

This experience has changed my view of the things that happened in the nineties. I have met people, who, unfortunately, had to go through the war themselves. I am glad I could hear their first-hand stories about what really happened.

Simona Milanovic
participant from Serbia

In order for young people from the Balkans to understand each other and the region in which they live, they need to get to know each other. Every young person living in the Balkans should find a little money and time to visit neighboring countries and experience all the wonderful things the region has to offer.

Bardh Skhreli
participant from Kosovo

I learned that we all have our perspectives, but that we can all just get along. We can be together. We are a new generation, and we need not follow the examples of our parents.

Vanja Lazic
participant from Bosnia and Herzegovina

This project and especially the other people who took part in this project gave me a totally different perspective on the Balkan history. I feel that now I have a clearer picture of the events in 1990s, something which I previously encountered only through the media.

Magda Origjanska
participant from Macedonia

I have never before had the opportunity to meet people from other former republics at one place, let alone spend almost a month with them. Besides making new friends, I improved my knowledge of history and learned many new things which I did not even think about before. This documentary allowed me to have an invaluable life experience.

Zvonimir Zvonar
participant from Croatia

Prior to going on a tour to the former Yugoslav countries for the shooting of the documentary, I knew very little about what had happened during the nineties in this region. I know that I shall never forget the people with whom I have lived and worked for three weeks. I would not exchange this experience for anything else in the world!

Djordje Mrdak
participant from Montenegro