Cultural director urges Serbian cinemas to show film on Srebrenica

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Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic speaks during an interview with Reuters in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on December 22, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

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NOVI PAZAR, Serbia, December 29 (Reuters) – The director of a cultural center in a predominantly Muslim part of Serbia has called for a acclaimed film about the massacre of 8,000 Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces in Srebrenica in 1995 be broadcast throughout Serbia.

More than 1,000 people watched “Quo Vadis, Aida?”, Nominated for best film at the 2021 European Film Awards, during two screenings in the city of Novi Pazar on Tuesday – the first time it was screened in any part of Serbia.

“Tickets sold out in an hour and a half,” said Husein Memic, whose center screened the film. “We are asking that the film be shown all over Serbia; it is absolutely foolish to only play Novi Pazar.”

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Jasmila Zbanic’s film also had no public screening in the Autonomous Serbian Republic of Bosnia, which plunged Bosnia into turmoil by opposing a law criminalizing denying the Srebrenica massacre. constituted genocide. Read more

Ratko Mladic, commander of the Bosnian Serb forces in 1995, and Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic were both convicted of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for their role in the Srebrenica massacre. .

Zbanic said many cinemas and distributors in other parts of Serbia and the Serbian Republic of Bosnia wanted to show the film, but feared recriminations or reprisals.

“My intention was never to divide,” she said.

“My intention was to tell the truth, and for people who don’t know Srebrenica or even refuse Srebrenica to sit down and watch it like a movie about a mother who wants to protect her two children. Because it is. what happened there. “

Serbian public television, RTS, has always broadcast award-winning films. But following calls to broadcast “Quo Vadis, Aida?”, He said he would not make any programming decisions under pressure from the media.

Boris Isakovic, who plays Mladic in the film, said he was disappointed that he was seen through a political lens, and not as an artistic creation.

“It is clear that (the showing of) this film has been censored,” Isakovic said. “But that says a lot about the power of the film – it’s a powerful weapon through which stories can be told.”

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Additional reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic in Belgrade and Daria Sito-Sucic in Sarajevo; Editing by Kevin Liffey

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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