21st Sarajevo Film Festival Addresses the Issue of Missing Persons

Source: SFF

The 2015 Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) gave special attention to the issue of missing persons, with several documentary and feature films covering the subject. Four documentaries focused on Srebrenica: “The Sigh of Life, Srebrenica”, “Adil”, “The Mist of Srebrenica” and “The Voices of Srebrenica”. All four films tell stories of survivors of genocide and pose questions about life, war and forgiveness, as well as considering human hardship and the burden of loss.

A documentary film “Remember me”, produced by the Izvor Association from Prijedor, was also shown during the 21st SFF. This film tells the story of two girls who were small children at the time of their fathers’ internment and disappearance.

“15-minute Massacre in Dvor” was shown as part of the “1995 – 2015 Dealing with the Past” program at the festival. The film tells the story of the massacre of nine people with disabilities in Dvor, Croatia, at the time of the “Storm” operation by the Croatian military. Danish UN forces at Camp Dannevirke near Petrinja in Central Croatia were ordered not to intervene during this operation and, therefore, did not stop the killing of these nine people. The film follows the former UN Danish commander, Kold, on his journey back to Croatia where 20 years ago he was forced to make the hardest decision of his life.

Another film featured in the “1995-2015 Dealing with the Past“ program was “The Diplomat“, a story about Richard Holbrooke and US internal politics. The film examined events in Vietnam, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other places, and Holbrooke’s role in ending wars and brokering peace accords.

“Those Who Feel the Fire Burning” was shown in Sarajevo during the Human Rights Day co-organized by the SFF and the Embassy of Switzerland. The film tells the story of migrants reaching the shores of Greece and Italy.

The stories about missing persons, migrants and refugees that were featured during the film festival contributed to raising awareness of these issues and highlighted their global significance. From the Western Balkans, the EU, the MENA region and further afield, these films serve as a reminder of the complexity of the missing persons issue and the scars it leaves in society. Roundtable discussions that followed some of the films gave participants an opportunity to debate the issues and engage in constructive dialogue.