Film “Resolution 819” about the Genocide in Srebrenica wins highest award at the Rome Film Festival!


This post has been edited on 20 November following new data regarding this film. The parts which I no longer support, such as when I declared were erased, not to mislead the readers. Please go to this post for an explanation.

Yesterday the film “Resolution 819”, directed by Giacommo Battiato, was awarded the Golden Marc’Aurelio Audience Award for Best Film at the Rome Film Festival.

Here’s the synopsis:

“United Nations Resolution 819 guaranteed the safety and protection of the Muslim populations Srebrenica, Bosnia. In July 1995, General Mladic’s Bosnian Serb soldiers took the protected area, under the eyes of the completely passive UN troops. Thousands were deported, of which 8000, mostly old people and children, completely disappeared. The International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague sent volunteer French investigator Jacques Calvez to find out what really happened to those people. It is a journey into hell. Jacques faces many kinds of adversity in a country still at war and, alone from the start, is met with hatred and sorrow. He will fight for years to find the mass graves and prove that innocent men were tortured and killed by the criminals lead by Karadzic and Mladic.”
Anything that may help keep the memory of Srebrenica alive and reach audiences that are usually not interested in this issue is more than welcome. It is a know fact that serbian cinema has been widely used as a very effective tool of nationalist propaganda, both for the serbian public and for the foreign audience. It is very important that other films appear and get shown that fight such propaganda and it is encouraging to see that films like this receiving awards.

Two .pdf files with synopsis etc. (in French) can be downloaded from Canal+’s Swiss website: – search on “Resolution 819″ (thanks, Owen!).

The Srebrenica Genocide Blog has a post analysing the UN Resolution 819.(thanks, Daniel!)


Filed under Art, Bosnia, Duty of memory, Genocide, Nationalism, Srebrenica, War

35 responses to “Film “Resolution 819” about the Genocide in Srebrenica wins highest award at the Rome Film Festival!

  1. Owen

    1995! Calvez is a fictionalised Jean-René Ruez.

  2. Owen

    Two .pdf files with synopsis etc. (in French) can be downloaded from Canal+’s Swiss website: – search on “Resolution 819”

  3. Sarah Franco

    I’ll correct it, I copied from the site of the film festival…

  4. I’ve found this at youtube. Just 4 minutes of the film

    Um abraço,

  5. Sarah Franco


  6. Owen

    Sorry Sarah, another one: “8000, mostly old people and children, completely disappeared” – presumably should read “including old people and children”

  7. Sarah Franco

    Owen, you’re right. but this is the synopsis that was published in the film festival website…still I think it’s better to correct it in this blog.

  8. JM

    “the most pro-serb country of Western Europe where Emir Kosturica is popular, where people think that ‘all sides are to blame’ in the wars, and that serbs are the savage pigs that appear in Kosturica movies.” Blimey, the Portuguese are a funny lot: pro-savage-pig?

  9. The actual U.N. Security Council Resolution 819 demanded Serbia and Montenegro (Yugoslavia) to take measures to prevent Srebrenica genocide and cease the supply of military arms, equipment and services to the Bosnian Serbs. Needless to remind that the International Court of Justice ruled in 2007 that Serbia had violated its obligation under the Genocide Convention to prevent genocide in Srebrenica and that it has also violated its obligations under the Convention by having failed fully to co-operate with the International Criminal Tribunal.

  10. Owen

    NB Dan has republished the full text of Resolution at Srebrenica Genocide Blog

    The full text is interesting reading not just with regard to the establishment of the safe areas and the reference to the ICJ injunction, mentioned by Dan, that “the Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) should immediately, in pursuance of its undertaking in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948, take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of the crime of genocide”, but also for its reference to the evacuation of the civilian population:

    “6. Condemns and rejects the deliberate actions of the Bosnian Serb party to force the evacuation of the civilian population from Srebrenica and its surrounding areas as well as from other parts of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of its overall abhorrent campaign of “ethnic cleansing”;”

    That deals with the attempts of the likes of Lewis MacKenzie to show the evacuation/deportation of the women and children in any sort of favourable light.

    It also raises the question yet again of whether Dutchbat in assisting the evacuation engaged the responsibility of the Dutch state and/or the United Nations itself in the genocide.

    In Resolution 819 the Security Council condemns and rejects the evacuation of the civilian population of Srebrenica. And yet when that evacuation occurs the United Nations not only fails to prevent it, the UN and/or its agent (depending on who eventually takes reponsibility for Dutchbat’s actions) actually facilitated that evacuation.

  11. Sarah Franco

    After I get my thesis published I think I’ll try to publish something about the portuguese genocide deniers (ambassadors, journalists, academics)… but only after my book gets published, because otherwise I’ll never be able to publish in Portugal.

  12. Pingback: Global Voices Online » The Balkans: Srebrenica Roundup

  13. Pingback: Film ‘Resolution 819′ includes inacurate scene that falsifies the truth. « CAFÉ TURCO

  14. Miguel González

    Nothing to add about the article, but I don’t get the point about the comment that “serbian cinema has been widely used as a very effective tool of nationalist propaganda, both for the serbian public and for the foreign audience”. Actually I’m a big fan of Serbian movies (and ex-Yu countries filmmaking in general) and I hardly can find any movie that could be taken as propaganda.

    Actually, 21st century Serbian films, such as “Spasitelj”, “Sivi kamion crvene boje”, “Rat uzivo” or “Karaula” talk about the 90s and years after without the slightest sign of propaganda. Rather, they are very critical with the 90s political events, the wars, their consequences and the current situation.

    It is certainly true that Milosevic’s propaganda has distorted Serb’s vision of the wars, and many of them still think that Srebrenica or the siege of Sarajevo are exaggerated by the foreign media, but there is as well a Serbian “intelligentsia” that is very aware of what happened and they openly critizice it. TV and filmmaking are different things, and I consider personally that Serbian movies are quite independent and critical.


  15. Sarah Franco

    that serbian intelligentsia is almost non existent and totally marginalized in every way. however, I did not specify the time frame. as a work of propaganda you can think of the film ‘life is a miracle’ by emir kusturica. in general the serb films that talk about the war never present it as an act of aggression planned by belgrade but rather as a war of all against all, a civil war where all sides are equally guilty.

  16. Miguel González

    Actually Kusturica is not Serbian, he is Bosnian born in Sarajevo.

    Of all the movies I mentioned above only Karaula is about the war itself, while the others deal with the war(s) as a side story or framework of the main one. Actually in “Rat uzivo” (“Live war”) they are very critical with Milosevic’s regime. And “Spasitelj” is quite a taught movie about a veteran Serbian sniper, his experience presented as everything but honorable.

    “No man’s land” is one of the best Bosnian movies about the war, and it also focuses on the nosense of the situation, not in blaming ones or the others. I strongly recommend this film.

    Currently I live in Sarajevo and it is more than 4 years that I’m living in the region; and believe me, they need everything but accusatory movies. Politicians and newspapers are more than enough for not allowing anyone to forget what happened and how bad are the neighbours, any neighbour!, all former fellow countrymen.

    All the movies I’m referring to are having English subtitles, so maybe you could find them around.


  17. Owen

    Miguel, whatever his birth certificate surely you can’t have failed to notice which nationality Kusturica has chosen to honour with his allegiance?

  18. Owen

    Sara, I’m afraid CanalPlus seems to have removed the prospectus for Resolution 819 – “Rechercher” doesn’t find it any more.

  19. Owen

    Sorry, the keyboard lost your “h”.

  20. Miguel González

    Owen, I was talking about movies and wars. My point about Kusturica was informative, not intentional to support my argument. You know? Sometimes I’m really convinced that we, foreigners, are doing nothing positive here. By labeling pesons according to their names, surnames or speeches (he is Serb, he is Muslim, he is…), or peoples after the information we obtain in “the West” (these are the good ones, these the bad guys, these others so so…) we are doing nothing constructive. Such a simplified and worthless conception would mean also considering all Basques or Irish as terrorists, all Northamericans as stupid consumers or every Italian as a tricky pasta-eater, Berlusconi supporter.

    In former Yugoslavia people didn’t care if Fatima was “Muslim” name, Antonio Croatian, Zlavko Serbian or Bekin Albanian… until politicians lit the fuse of hate. Kusturica makes films. Consider him a filmmaker and discuss about his work, don’t look for understanding after his passport, or Milosevic, Karadzic and Tudjman had definitely succeeded.

    Another film about Srebrenica is more for Western consumption that for Bosnian or Serbian, as Westerners we need to remember what happened there and to purge our sin of doing nothing to stop it.

    Region is stuck on the consequences of the war(s), specially Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia, but the normal people just want to go further and improve their living conditions, which lack any future. From the West we helped little to avoid disasters to happen, but the worst is that Western policies created an endlessly deeper disaster, in B&H, Kosovo and Serbia, with their receipts cooked abroad for a mix of ingredients they hardly understood (if they ever tried to!).


  21. Sarah Franco


    Kusturica chose to abandon his city sarajevo and assume a serb identity.
    He converted to the serbian ortodox church and is now one of the most extreme nationalist.

    he is not merely a film maker. he is a political activist:

    since I guess you can understand serbian, I am sure you heard his speech.

    On kusturica’s site you can find a letter he wrote in 1992 which was published in the frnch newspaper le monde about the siege of sarajevo which clearly reveals his perspective on the war ans his skills in deceiving the naive international public opinion.

    he has been using his artistic skills to white wash Serbian nationalism for the last two decades.

    in fact, in Serbia everything is political, everything involves making tacit statements about nationalism.

    Please don’t take this reply or the others as contempt to your opinion.
    I respect and appreciate your opinion and welcome your comments. If you take a look into my archives, you will surely come to the conclusion that, although I very strongly oppose Serb nationalism, I am very attached emotionally to Serbia and to the region in general. I don’t think my perspective over the region is a simplified one and I do believe I can give a positive, even if modest, contribution as a foreigner, but I agree on some of your criticism regarding the role of foreigners in the region. In fact, my reaction to this film res.819 confirms that as you can understand from the more recent post on this film where I have an excerpt of Hasan Nuhanovic article on this film.

    I would have to extend myself much more, but time is short. I speak more about Serbia because it’s the country I know best. not every serb is a nationalist, of course.

    You can also visit the blog Invisible sights, on my side bar. It is written by a belgrader, Jelena Markovic. I specifically advise you to read this text:

  22. Sarah Franco

    “”Another film about Srebrenica is more for Western consumption that for Bosnian or Serbian, as Westerners we need to remember what happened there and to purge our sin of doing nothing to stop it.””

    Miguel, I totally agree with this comment.

    I’m afraid that this film will rather buy our good conscience than purge our guilt.

  23. Miguel González

    Thank you Sarah for taking your time on replying, and for providing these very interesting links.

    Everything is political in Serbia… as it is in B&H, in Montenegro, in Croatia… it is sad, but it is like that. Without intending to go back to the discussion, my original point was only that there are many Serbian films which are not political (or at least, not nationalist), and this was the only point I disagreed with in your post. Nothing else.

    By the way, in case someone reads this, I would like to inform that Centre André Malraux in Sarajevo organizes the screening of “Resolution 819” next Wednesday 3rd Dec at 8 pm, and “Srebrenica, plus jamais ça!” (“Never again Srebrenica”, documentary directed by Morad Aït-Habbouche et Hervé Corbière) the next day, Thursday 4rd, at the same hour. Both screenings will be at CDA-SARTR (16, Gabelina St., Sarajevo) and entrance is free.


  24. Sarah Franco

    thanks, Miguel, that’s an important information that you are providing us.

    as I said, your comments are welcome. It’s important to have different perspectives around here, that’s why I opted to have comments and no moderation. Comments can be a asset for a blog, and except in the case of insults and hate speech, I welcome all comments, and always try to reply, although sometimes I don’t have the time to do it as I wished to.

    as you may see in my blog, I try not to focus only in political issues, but also on the daily life in the region, because I think it’s too burdened by politics.

  25. Owen

    Sarah, I think it’s important to point out that Hasan Nuhanovic wrote that once he knew it had been made he hoped that this might possibly being the film about Srebrenica that he and the other survivors had always hoped would be made, which he’d tried unsuccessfully to get made himself – their account of what happened as they experienced it, not the lies of the genocide lobby, the excuses of the international onlookers and romanticisation by the ignorant.

    The problem he had with Resolution 819 was that it included this travesty of a scene, which for obvious reasons – the reality of his family’s betrayal by the Dutch – he regards as an unacceptable falsification. He and many other people want an end to the lies and misrepresentations that so many of the directly and indirectly culpable continue to hide behind.

    Miguel, while of course people in Bosnia do want to improve their living conditions, those that I know don’t seem to have that collective desire simply to move on that you suggest, they want justice and they want an acknowledgment of the truth of what was done to them. And above all they want an end to the falsification of history, in film and otherwise.

  26. Sarah Franco

    owen, you’re right. moving on cannot be done at the expense of justice. moving on should mean reversing the effects of genocide by creating the conditions for displaced people to return, which depends not only on economic conditions. how many of us would want to return and face those who harmed us so seriously walking free and even bullying us???

    so moving on is not possible if turn our backs on the past.

    the effects of the war are much deeper than that.

  27. Owen

    And sadly that’s still the experience of so many people who have returned to or tried to return home to places like not just Srebrenica, but many other places.

  28. Owen

    I just posted this to Jelena as well:

    You might like to go and download the podcast of the BBC Radio 4 “A Point of View” programme at – Clive James talking about the falsification of the truth by films, eg Baader-Meinhoff Complex. Downfall, Schindler’s List.

  29. Miguel G. Lázaro

    I agree with you both, justice is priority, but I also think processes are ongoing quite well both at the ICTY and the local war criminal court (although still some very prominent genocids, supporters or instigators must be arrested).

    Numerous books and films and documentaries have helped everybody to acknowledge what has happened, and I guess you all agree that in the West most of people have a clear idea who are “the bad guys” and who are “the good ones”. I’m not sure to what extent this is positive, but this acknowledge should start by the local people themselves. There are dozens of incredible stories about “businesses” or “missdoings” that happened during the war, as soldiers or militias selling weaponry to the enemy (from any side!), or people from one “ethnic group” (I hate to use this term!) collaborating with the “enemy” or even fighting their supposed-to-be fellow nationals.

    Definitely, still there’s a big job to do in Serbia and among Serbs in B&H, as it is unacceptable that too many of them still think that Srebrenica or other terrible crimes were exaggerated.

    I’ve worked in return issues for almost three years, and although some steps have been implemented, the problem is much deeper. How can you explain that B&H has not a unified labour market, and that if one worker goes to another entity, his/her labour rights (pension and social security contributions) will not be acknowledged by the authorities of the other entity? You can hardly work on creating appropriate return conditions if “normal life” conditions are completely unnatural.

    Regards and thanks for all your comments, this is being quite interesting!

  30. Sarah Franco

    Thanks Miguel, for your interesting comment.

  31. Owen

    Miguel, that’s very interesting what you say about the non-recognition of rights. It would compound the other problems of return. Is it equally true for both the entities and Brcko as well? Is there no legislative provision or is it just that legislation isn’t enforced? Has the OHC made any effort to change this situation? This sounds a pretty important issue.

  32. Pingback: Film ‘Resolution 819′ shown in Sarajevo « CAFÉ TURCO

  33. please

    look at this video – emir kusturica and no smoking orchestra in oslo

  34. p. mojo

    Sorry, here is the video – the latest news about Kusturica and his No smoking Orchestra:

  35. Sarah Franco

    Thank, Petter. it is so disgusting that I am only publishing so that naive people that think kusturica is just an artist get real…

    I strongly recommend readers to watch the you tube.

    I imagine their sick pleasure mocking the naive non-serbian speakers in their concerts, singing such things…