Re: [Videolib] Films about the 1991-1995 war in former Yugoslavia

Pat Shufeldt (
Fri, 07 Jan 2005 18:29:38 -0500

I recommend BEFORE THE RAIN, a powerful feature film by Macedonian director
Milcho Manchevski. It was a 1994 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Film;
is currently available only on VHS. A Hungarian-American friend who has
travelled in Macedonia commented that most Macedonians regard this particular
film as a "cautionary tale" rather than a portrayal of their experience. As the
director describes it, "I just took three very simple stories, plots which have
been around for hundreds of years - impossible love, unresolvable dilemma, and
going home." The film includes both intense violence and incredible beauty;
both adherence to cultural codes and the refusal of key characters to live their
lives according to a prevailing code of violence and it's result of constant

Much has been written about this film. A couple of years ago I read numerous
essays about it--an entire issue of an a British journal entitled RETHINKING
HISTORY. For links and other info., see the director's website: (heading: "Press, Links, etc.)

Pat Shufeldt
Westminster Presbyterian Church Library
Greenville, SC

"Brewer, Michael" wrote:

> Celeste,
> There are a lot of them out there, both Feature films) and documentaries.
> Try Icarus/First Run films. They have some. I think Berkeley has a pretty
> good listing on their film/media site.
> Here are some to consider:
> Bosna! -- Examines the fighting in Sarajevo and the conflict between the
> Serbs and the Croatians. Includes interviews with Fran┌ois Mitterrand and
> 'Alija Izetbegovic
> Calling the Ghosts -- Women survivors of Omarska Detention Camp describe the
> camp and the situation in Bosnia and Herzagovnia. Their release and recovery
> process are also described
> The Road to Nowhere -- This program examines these people, whose power
> derives from the barrel of a gun, and the rhetoric with which they justify
> themselves and motivate one another: the rhetoric of nationalism"--container
> Urbicide (First Run Films)
> We are all neighbors -- In a Muslim/Catholic village near Sarajevo, rumors
> fly and suspicions spread. When Catholic Croats assert control, Muslim
> businesses are attacked, villagers arrested and harassed, and homes
> threatened. Three weeks later, neighbors who had been close friends for 50
> years no longer speak to each other, and the peaceful coexistence between
> Croats and Muslims disintegrates into mutual distrust and fear."--
> Kosovo: of blood and history -- Using eyewitness accounts, maps, and footage
> of historic events, this program examines the history behind the
> long-standing conflict between Serbs and Kosovar Albanians.
> Underground (Kusturica) -- A tragicomedy about love, friendship, betrayal,
> manipulation and lies. Deals with the conflicts of the Yugoslav history of
> the past fifty years.
> Cabaret Balkan -- Various individuals cross paths in Belgrade during the
> Balkan Wars in this dark comedy from Yugoslavia.
> Pretty Village, Pretty Flame -- Two boyhood friends, one a Muslim, the other
> a Serb, find themselves on opposing sides in the war in Bosnia.
> No Man's Land -- Set during the height of the Bosnian War in 1993, a group
> of Bosnian soldiers are advancing on Serb territory under the cover of a
> foggy night. At daybreak, the fog lifts, and the Serbs open fire. Soon there
> is only one Bosnian survivor because he was able to dive into a trench in no
> man's land. He then watches as two Serbian soldiers use the body of a fallen
> Bosnian to bait a land mine. He fires on them, killing one, and taking the
> second hostage. Now both are alone and equally armed, so they are forced to
> share a wary trust as they try to attract help from either side.
> The Wounds -- Two dewey-faced, clever 16 year old boys, Pinki and Kraut, who
> come of age during the war torn early 1990s in Serbia look for role models
> and heroes on the TV talk show The Street Pulse (a real program in Belgrade)
> where gangsters are treated as rock stars. Soon they become apprentices to
> one of their local mobsters and master the use of remorseless violence to
> achieve the power, wealth and fame they crave. When one boy seriously wounds
> the other an unwritten rule demands that he be repaid - bullet for bullet.
> mb
> Michael Brewer
> Slavic Studies, German Studies & Media Arts Librarian
> University of Arizona Library A210
> 1510 E. University
> P.O. Box 210055
> Tucson, AZ 85721
> Voice: 520.307.2771
> Fax: 520.621.9733
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Celeste Choate []
> Sent: Friday, January 07, 2005 2:23 PM
> To:;
> Subject: [Videolib] Films about the 1991-1995 war in former Yugoslavia
> Looking for some help here.
> One of our customers in our public library is looking for videos on the war
> in what used to be known as Yugoslavia. He prefers video but would also
> watch DVDs. The only title in our library cooperative is "While America
> Watched: The Bosnia Tragedy" by ABC news. I've found titles like
> "Bosnia-Children of War" and World Almanac's "Landmark War Crimes Trials -
> The Bosnia War Crimes Trial." on I'm
> PBS only turned up one hit and I didn't find anything on the BBC site,
> either. Where else should I look? I generally purchase feature films & know
> I'm missing something.
> Thanks in advance!
> Celeste Choate,
> Head of Popular Materials
> Clinton-Macomb Public Library
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