Film ‘Resolution 819’ shown in Sarajevo

Two days ago (3 December) the film ‘Resolution 819’ was shown in Sarajevo.

Here is an article on the event, published by Osservatorio sui Balcani (in italian).

Sarajevo 819

According to its author, Andrea Rossini, my fears that the film might misrepresent the role of the UN and the Dutchbat have not been confirmed. Rossini mentions the polemic caused by the article written by Hasan Nuhanovic in the newspaper Dani (translated into italian by Osservatorio sui Balcani and into english from the italian translation here at this blog), saying that ‘the equivoque  was clarified after a meeting between Nuhanovic and Battiato in Sarajevo’.

Here is an excerpt of the article:

La visione di “Risoluzione 819”, del resto, non lascia dubbi, il messaggio rispetto al ruolo della comunità internazionale è molto chiaro. Il sistema viene descritto impietosamente, a partire dai disperati colloqui telefonici del comandante olandese a Srebrenica (Karremans) con il generale delle Nazioni Unite a Zagabria (Janvier), che nega gli interventi aerei.

Here in English (my translation):

The vision of ‘Resolution 819’ does not leave room for doubt, the message regarding the role of the international community is very clear. The system is described with no mercy, starting from the desperate phone conversations between the dutch commander in Srebrenica (Karremans) and the United Nations general in Zagreb (Janvier), who denies an air intervention”.

This perspective is, somehow, confirmed by another person who watched the film, which stated in the comment box of Osservatorio sui Balcani (comment author: provenzan salvan, 05.12.2008 10:08):

ho visto il film l’altra sera. forse non un capolavoro, ma un film utile. (…) temevo sentimentalismi facili, temevo deviazioni “spettacolari” dalla trama, temevo una narrazione molto parziale dei fatti. invece, devo ammettere che la storia di srebrenica e’ li’, e’ nel film che, ricordiamolo, non e’ un documentario (ce ne sono di bellissimi) ma un prodotto che non deve essere “vero”, ma “verosimile”. (…)  il regista ha mostrato la storia di srebrenica, in un modo certo imperfetto e in alcuni punti discutibile, ma non l’ha stravolta o strumentalizzata. magari, altri faranno meglio. o magari no.”

I watched the movie the other evening. it’s probably not a masterpiece, but a useful film. (…) I was afraid of easy sentimentalisms, I feared ‘spectacular’ deviations of the thread, a narration that might be too parcial. On the contrary, I have to admite that the story of Srebrenica is there, it’s on the film, which, let me remind that, is not a documentary (there are excellent) but a product that must not me ‘true’, but ‘likely’. (…) the director has shown the story of Srebrenica, in an imperfect way and in some points questionable, but has not distorted or instrumentalized it maybe others will do better. ir not.

I hope to get other reactions from people who may have watched the film. I’ll post more on this as soon as I have more reactions (it is unlikely that I will have the possibility to watch the film any time soon).

Previous posts on ‘Resolution 819’ on Café Turco:

History as written by other people, the transation of Hasan Nuhhanovic’s article  Drugi pišu našu historiju, published on the newspaper Dani (thanks, Owen, for the translation) (24/11/2008)

Film ‘Resolution 819’ about the genocide in Srebrenica includes inaccurate scene that falsifies the truth, where I react to Hasan Nuhanovic’s article. (21/11/2008)

Film ‘Resoultion 819’ about the genocide in Srebrenica wins highest award at the Rome Film Festival. (1/11/2008)


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

6 responses to “Film ‘Resolution 819’ shown in Sarajevo

  1. Daniel

    I am very glad they clarified the issue. I haven’t watched the movie, but it seems to me the object of this film is to present life of Jean Rene Ruez, however they never asked for his permission. Therefore, they had to add some fiction, e.g. him falling in love with forensic anthropologists examining bones of Srebrenica genocide victims…. It appears that in the course of events, they actually presented UN soldiers as heroes, which is an insult to survivors of this massacre who feel very strongly against the United Nations.

  2. Sarah Franco

    Daniel, from what i could understand, they presented an individual soldier as heroe, having a quixotesc attitude, the one in the trailer, and we know that is fiction. but at least the film appears to be critical of the UN…

    I guess it’s not as bad as we had thought, but I’m waiting for more reactions… and of course, I want to watch it myself.

  3. Any fictional film is going to have to focus on one or a few individuals; it’s an almost necessary narrative and dramatic device. I wish that it could be otherwise, but I’m not the producer (i.e the one providing the money to make a film).

    I am gratified to read these initial, positive reports–thank you so much for passing them on.

  4. Sarah Franco

    Kirk, unfortunately, it seems that the misrepresentation of the role of the dutchbat goes deeper, so the question stands. I have already received Hasan Nuhanovic first impressions, I’ll write about that tomorrow, as I really don’t have time today.

  5. Daniel

    People of Srebrenica were let down by the World, and the World includes the UN and their own government in Sarajevo. Take Federal Commission for Missing Persons as an example. I sent them three emails and they never responded. It’s not like I am asking for a lollipop; all I was asking is a little bit help and clarification from their side. I guess I asked too much. It will take a lot of time to change Balkan mentality… if that’s even possible, I don’t know…

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