BIRN’s documentary film ‘Your House Was My Home’ is the story of how war forced villagers in Serbia and Croatia to exchange homes with each other in an attempt to save their own lives.

In 1992, after armed conflict broke out in what was then Yugoslavia, Serbs and Croats from Kula in Croatia and Hrtkovci in Serbia swapped houses and moved to each other’s villages.

This was described as ‘humane relocation’, but it was actually a forced population exchange in the midst of a war.

‘Your House Was My Home’ follows the stories of two of the villages’ residents - Goran Trlaić, who left Kula for Hrtkovci in 1992, and Stjepan Roland, who left Hrtkovci for Kula the same year.

Before the 1990s conflict, Kula in Croatia was predominantly populated by Serbs, where the majority of the people in Hrtkovci in Serbia were Croats.

Since the end of World War II, they had lived peacefully together - until the first multi-party elections in 1990, when nationalists came to power and minorities were not welcome in either republic anymore.

A series of threats and violent incidents started a chain reaction as increasing numbers of inhabitants of Kula and Hrtkovci exchanged properties so they could escape to safety.

The personal recollections in ‘Your House Was My Home’ show how this forced population exchange had a devastating long-term effect on the lives of ordinary people from both villages.



Director: Janko Baljak

Journalists: Drago Hedl (Croatia), Maja Zivanovic and Ivana Nikolic (Serbia)

Production: BIRN

Director of Photography: Jovan Milinov SAS

Cinematographer: Bojan Djurisic

Film editor: Nemanja Babic

Graphic design and animation: Jelena Sanader

Music and sound design: Janja Lonсar

Mastering: Postproduction McGuffin

Translator for English language: Zvonimir Ivanov

Copy editor for English language: Matthew Collin

Driver: Borislav Zivin