Masaryk University Faculty of Arts

Department of English and American Studies
Teaching English Language and Literature for Secondary Schools

Bc. Vladimír Zán

The Image of the Bosnian War in American Cinema
Master’s Diploma Thesis

Supervisor: doc. PhDr. Tomáš Pospíšil, Dr.


I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently, using only the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography. ……………………………………………..
Vladimír Zán

Acknowledgement I would like to thank my supervisor doc. PhDr. Tomáš Pospíšil, Dr. for his valuable advice, guidance and lending me some of the secondary materials. In addition, I would like to thank Nienke van Doorn and Jeff Handley for proofreading my text. Vedrana Mahmutović, who provided me with her personal experiences, observations and views regarding the issues the thesis was concerned with. Last but not least I would like thank Dušan Kolcún and Charline Ruet for their support and encouragement

Table of Content
1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 2 2. The Bosnian War ...................................................................................................................... 9 3. Inventing Bosnia and Herzegovina. ........................................................................................ 18 4. Bosnia in the Film ................................................................................................................... 33 5. Behind Enemy Lines. .............................................................................................................. 42 6. Welcome To Sarajevo............................................................................................................. 50 7. Shot through the Heart .......................................................................................................... 59 8. Savior ...................................................................................................................................... 65 9. Conclusion .............................................................................................................................. 77 10. Bibliography ......................................................................................................................... 89 Resumé (česky) ........................................................................................................................... 98 Resume (English) ......................................................................................................................... 99


1. Introduction Richard Holbrooke, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and later the Special Envoy to Cyprus and Balkans, in his speech entitled “No media, No War”, compared the situation in Bosnia with the one in Rwanda. While in Bosnia the number of dead was “only” around 100, 000 people, in Rwanda the number was as high as 1,000,000, but Western media dedicated more space to European conflict, than to the killing in Africa. Richard Holbrooke links the two events when he quotes Christiane Annanpour, reporter for CNN in Bosnia and Herzegovina. When asked why she did not report on the conflict in Rwanda, replied: “I was in Rwanda. I did cover it. I knew what was happening but the O J Simpson trial was on and I couldn't get on the air for CNN.” (Holbrooke 20). Compared with the conflicts in Africa, the Bosnian War received more coverage in Europe and America where the public was served almost daily portion of horror and tragedy. Bosnia was a perfect place for stories of bloodshed and terror, as it was located on the border of the civilized, rational West and dark and mysterious East. Images of the country, where the Winter Olympic Games took place only a few years before, were juxtaposed with pictures of war crimes, mass graves, shelling and dead bodies. In 1946 Winston Churchill in his famous speech at Westminster’s College in Fulton, Missouri, “hung” the Iron Curtain between free, democratic West and the communist East. However even after the fall of the communist regimes, the imaginary line dividing East and West of the Europe still prevailed in some form. This division is not the invention of the British political leader, Larry Wolff, in his detailed exploration of traveller’s accounts on Poland and Russia. In the Enlightenment literature with the appropriate title: Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment, dates the origin of this division back to the Enlightenment and writings


of authors such as Voltaire, and other leading Enlightenment thinkers. Philosophies of Enlightenment articulated and elaborated their own perspective on the continent gazing from West to East, rather than from North to South as it were before. (Wolff 5). According to Wolff: “The Enlightenment had to invent Western and Eastern Europe together as complementary concepts, defining each other by opposition and adjacency.“ (5) In the eighteenth century the lands of Eastern Europe were a sufficiently unfamiliar and unusual destination for the Western traveller, so that each carried a mental map to be freely annotated, embellished, refined or refolded along the way. Wolff explains the importance of the mental mapping in the following way: “The operations of mental mapping were above all associations and comparisons, association among the lands of Eastern Europe, intellectually combining them into a coherent whole and comparison with the lands of Western Europe establishing the developmental division of the continent.” (Wolff 6) Edward Said proposed the idea that Europe was defined by Orient, as the Orient was always part of Western imaginative and material culture. It constituted a reference point one could define against. (1-2) In a similar way, Western Europe defined itself against its Eastern part. The Balkan region, as former part of the Eastern Roman Empire and later Byzantine followed by the Ottoman Empire, was seen as the part of Eastern Europe. It shares, along with the whole of Eastern Europe, a position between the Orient and the Western Europe; it was characterized by the industrial backwardness, lack of advanced social relations typical of the developed world, irrational and superstitious cultures unmarked by Western Enlightenment. (Wolf 6-7; Todorova 12). The Balkans, on the other hand, cannot be described precisely under the terms of Orientalism as it was defined by Said. While Said talks about the exotic Orient and its exotic and


there are only two places in the Balkans with a significant proportion of Muslim population. War in the former Yugoslavia helped to dust out the old images of the whole region. (Todorova 14) In addition to that. Another important aspect was that the Balkan countries were never under the direct colonial rule of Western powers therefore never experienced Western influences through economic. which offered an opportunity to dream and possibility a longing for the exotica as opposed to prosaic and profane West. the dominant religion in this region. the Balkans had predominantly male appeal evoking the medieval knighthood. Balkan studies were found only recently and have almost no tradition. However Orthodox Christianity. (Flemming1228) When the communist regimes fell and dichotomy of the East vs. The Balkans on the other hand was depicted as place with unimaginative correctness and lack of wealth. This fact reflects the resonance of the Balkans as a name (32). social and political definition against the Western Catholicism. while Islam plays a crucial role in the definition of the Orient. diplomatic and cultural means. wars over the Yugoslavian succession were often referred to by the Western media to as the Balkan Wars despite protests of Yugoslavia’s neighbours in the Peninsula. West disappeared. According to Vesna Goldsworthy.imaginary realm. As opposed to exotic Orient. usually negative. One of them is Bosnia and Herzegovina. Compared to what Said stated about the study of the Orient. it was the distinction between Christianity and Islam which was important. played an important role in its cultural. While these two faiths mutually represented the notion of heresy in the region and within the Europe. unlike the direct control experienced in the Near East. which became associated with the war and ethnic hatred once again. it was necessary to redefine the whole region. attitude. with straightforward. The same situation applies in academia. The War on European soil between two “white” nations gained considerable attention in the news media and 4 .

which tried to explain the conflict. diaries kept during the siege of Sarajevo. survivors and camp inmates. countless memoirs by politicians. Savior (1998 dir Predrag Antonijević). Hollywood took up the challenge and produced four relatively successful movies in terms of critical reception as well as the box office performance: Welcome to Sarajevo (1997 dir Michael Winterbotton). Croatia.consequently a tide of publications about the Balkans appeared on the bookshelves. accounts by foreign correspondents and relief workers. Richard Shepard). anthologies of poetry and prose. (Goldsworthy 28) Filmmakers did not fell behind in this trend and a number of documentaries and feature films about the peninsula were made and gained wide popularity. reissues of long out of print titles. The Hunting Party (2007 dir. Both try to explain the present war in the context of the past conflicts. This work deals with four of the films: Welcome to Sarajevo (1997 dir Michael Winterbotton). The two best films at the 1995 Canes film festival were Emir Kusturica’s Underground (1995) and Theo Angelopoulos’ The Ulysses Glass (1995). Shot through the Heart (1998 dir 5 . and a variety of academic explorations of the Balkan peninsula. The Bosnian War appears also in the films such as Peacemaker (1997 dir Mimi Leder) The Rock (1996 dir Michael Bay). Shot through the Heart (1998 dir David Atwood) and Behind Enemy Lines (2001 dir John Moore). Bosnia-Herzegovina. the Whistleblower (2011 dir Larysa Kondracki). Milcho Manchevski). and soldiers engaged in the region. and Kosovo. In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011 dir Angelina Jolie) and more. diplomats. New histories of Serbia. Savior (1998 dir Predrag Antonijević). received number of significant film awards such as the nomination for the Academy Award for the best Foreign Language Film in 1994 for the Macedonian film Before the Rain (1994 dir. the testimonies of victims. It should be noted that films produced or co-produced in the Balkans.

First of all. Therefore in the next few chapters we will see how the 6 . Its aim is to prove that images of the Balkans and the Bosnian War found in previous texts were reproduced in these films.David Atwood) and Behind Enemy Lines (2001 dir John Moore). some of them included the companies from the Former Yugoslavia and received various degree of support from the Former Yugoslav countries.. these movies were co-produced by different companies. shortly after the end of the war and therefore they might capture the best sentiments of the West regarding the war depicted in the images presented every evening in the news and still present in the “public collective memory”. This all offer perfect opportunity to compare different approach the filmmakers took in depicting the region. which serves as one of the common denominator. Then we need to understand the evolution of the imaging of the whole region of Balkans and Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular both in the Western. At the same time. All of the analysed films offer images of war whether it is fought on the streets or Sarajevo or Bosnian countryside. We will observe how depictions of the events in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Moreover each of the films is a work of different directors with unique artistic vision. In order to do so. Another reason why those four films are analysed is their mainstream appeal and the fact that they were co-produced by the Hollywood studios. They achieved various commercial successes which could be measured on the scale from blockbusters to total failure. its people and the war. first we will see how the actual events of the Bosnian war developed. There are few reasons for choosing these particularly four films. they were produced around the same time. predominantly British and American literature and culture and then especially in the British and American film. The question is in what way did these films reproduced the old stereotypes and in what instances did they differ. fits into the paradigmatic pattern of imaging the Balkans set earlier and repeated throughout the nineteen and twentieth century.

Welcome to Sarajevo. consist of the analysis of four films Behind Enemy Lines.image of the region evolved throughout centuries Publications Imaging The Balkans by Maria Todorova and Cinema of Flames: Balkan Film. as they explained evolution of the image of the regions in the Western mind with complexity and especially the first sources served as the base for research most of the other sources dealing with the problematic. We will look at the film through the lens of semiotic analysis and narrative theory. Appart from these Nevena Dakovic’s article The Treshold of Europe: Imagining Yugoslavia in Film offered a comprehensive list of the movies depicting Serbia in the last century and therefore served me as the ground work for my further research. but rather continuum of meaning. Film language as in any other means of human communication is made of system of signs and therefore can be analysed. James Monaco in his book How to Read a Film claims that film language. where is a great difference between signifier and signified. specifically in relations to defining elements within the single shot as well as combination of the shots into sequences. The referential publications for this analysis were except the above mentioned publication by James Monaco also Understanding Movies by Louis Giannetti and Film Art: An Introduction by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson. in film it is not. Several publications have influenced the way we analyse films in this work. Second part of this work (Chapters 5 to 8). and the Media written by Dina Iordanova were indispensable to my work. when we describe film settings and different ways of characterization of 7 . Shot through the Heart and Savior. Culture. In addition. Shot contains as much as we want to read in it and whatever units we define within a shot are arbitrary (Monaco 153). Film is not composed of units as such. Power of the cinema comes from the fact that unlike other language systems. although it lacks its grammar and vocabulary. but even eight or ten years old child can understand it the way the adults do (152).

Savior (1998 dir Predrag Antonijević). It analyzes the films as the art forms and does not attempt in any case to comment on the actual events or side with and of the party involved in of the war. All of the results found in this thesis depict the Bosnian war in Welcome to Sajevo (1997 dir. Shot through the Heart (1998 dir David Atwood) and Behind Enemy Lines (2001 dir John Moore). apart from the above mentioned publications we took references from Manfred Jahn and his Guide to Narratological Film Analysis and Story and Discourse as well as Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film written by Seymour Chatman. 8 . Michael Winterbotton).heroes from different nationalities and roles they play within the plot.

On June 25th first two federal republics. In Serbia these nationalist tendencies were powered by the unrest in Kosovo region. many of whom fled rather than being recruited for Croatian war as well as a weakening Serbian economy. Slovenia and Croatia declared their independence. At the time Croatia and Slovenia declared their Independence. Serbs are a minority in the population. The Bosnian War It is difficult to find a single cause of the Bosnian war. because he saw the war in Bosnia as unlikely due to a lack of will for war among the Serbian conscripts. The territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the cultural and religious intersection for many centuries. After the death of Marshal Tito. which has historical ties to the Serbia. a sense of nationalism grew in all republics of the former Yugoslavia. The situation in Croatia was different and the war left many casualties and lasted until November 1991. where holding the country together was no longer plausible. It continued until 1995 with the climax occurring during Operation Storm in August 1995. In 1991 the situation reached the point. This act resulted in war. The outcome of the war was total control of the Croatian military forces over its territory and mass exodus of the local Serbian population predominantly to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nationalist tendencies grew stronger with the increasing public debt and rising inflation and decrease of the living standard of the regions’ population. He chose leukaemia. which lasted in Slovenia only 11 days and after small number of casualties. the Yugoslavian National Army 1 withdrew their forces. (176) 1 Later YNA 9 . Alija Izetbegović the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina faced the decision of whether to succeed or stay in the Yugoslavia coalition.2. Jasminka Udovički and Ejub Štitkovac quoted him when he compared his dilemma to choice between leukaemia and a brain tumour. but presently.

These formations were supplied and trained on the clandestine basis by the Serbian controlled Yugoslavian National Army (Ramet 203. Štitkovać 176) The era of the Independent State of Croatia during the World War II were still alive in the collective memory of Bosnian Serbs. Udovički.000 ethnic Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. By September 1991 the Serbian Autonomous Oblast Hezegovina was formed with the capital Trebnje and soon the other municipalities followed. not the imperialist ambitions of Serbia. the political situation seemed to be leading to conflict. Bihać and Mostar.000 and 340. Many Serbs believed the propaganda spread by the national media which promoted the idea of all Serbs in one state as the mean of security.181) Guns were smuggled into the country and were sold to members of all ethnic group. 2 10 . Rumours spread amongst the people by the gun smugglers and trained agents were supported by state propaganda which was heard and seen in the media. An Army with heavy artillery encircled the great cities of Sarajevo.Prior to this decision. rifles. (The Holocaust Memorial Museum). The autonomous republic were supported by the Yugoslavian Army. Štitkovac 180 . Peterson 2. (Udovički.2 (177 .000 soldiers to SAD Herzegovina. Between December the 31st and January the 2nd 1992 the governments of Yugoslavia coalition and Croatia agreed on a truce in Croatia. Štitkovac 180. In 1990. Fear was used as very successful technique. which allowed Milošević to relocate some of his troops to Bosnia. Štitkovac 181-182). the brutal force and rumour encouraged people from all ethnic group to sell their livestock and other valuable items to buy pistols. (Herman. bazookas or other kinds of armoury in order to protect themselves (Udovički. Udovički.178) As soon as April 26th 1991 the Bosnian Serbs proclaimed the Municipal Community of Bosnian Krajina and chose the town of Banja Luka as their capital. the Serbs began to form their own military in Bosnia. Where words were not enough. At . It is estimated that Ustaša regime had killed between 1941 and 1945 in total between 320. which alone sent 5. Ramet 203).

Bosnian Serbs organized their referendum on November 9. however the EC considered only the Bosnian and Croatian referendum valid. 1991 in their territories where the majority voted for staying within Yugoslavia. (Ramet 205) On August 1991. 2 concluded that that the Serbian population in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia were entitled to all the rights conferred minorities and ethnic groups[. and the YNA would be required to withdraw its forces. including. as they represented the majority of population. because it was unilateral and expressed the opinion of only one ethnic group. the right to choose their nationality" (Pellet 179) Opinion no. According to Udovički and 11 . Opinion no. the majority of the military were citizens of Bosnia. Radovan Karadžićv told Bosnian Serbs to boycott the plebiscite which the majority of the Bosnian Serb population did (Udovički Štitkovac 179.]" and "that the Republics must afford the members of those minorities and ethnic groups all the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized in international law. so when Bosnia and Herzegovina seceded. the Arbitration Commission of the Conference on Yugoslavia (commonly known as Badinter Arbitration Committee) was set up by the Council of Ministers of the EC. where appropriate. The Badinter Commission made mandatory the favourable answer to secede by all three ethnic groups. The commission was handed fifteen opinions concerning the split of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.the same time the Serbian President issued a secret order to transfer all the Bosnian Serb officers to Bosnia. Ramet 206). A later referendum required by the Badinter Commission was declared on February by the government in Sarajevo for the entire country... rather than citizens of other possible combatant regions. However this referendum was not recognized by the Muslims and Croats. and 10. with the overwhelming majority voting for secession. 4 suggested that recognition of the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Yugoslavia was not appropriate until a referendum on the issue was held.

Bratunac. Other towns such as Zvornik. 1992 the EC have recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina and a full scale war erupted. Recognition of Bosnia appeared to place the will of the Bosnian Muslims and Croats over the will of Bosnian Serbs. which only provided Radovan Karadzic fodder to his claim that foreign powers were against the Serbian sovereignty as they had been in the past. brutally killing the local Muslims. Husejnović. Goražde and Foča as well as smaller towns followed. Ramet 206-207) On April 6 1992. The Serbs began their offensive with the two objectives. Serb paramilitary forces lead by Željko Raznatović-Arkan entered the Border town Bijelina. Milner. (Udovički. On this day the Bosnian Serbs opened a military front in the eastern part of the Republic and pushed westward. Štitkovac 179) On January 2. What guarantees of their political status. it made the things worse. despite the overwhelming boycott of one third of the population. 1992 the Bosnian Serbs left the Bosnian Parliament claiming that the Bosnian law no longer bound them and formed the Republika Srpska. Štitkovac 186. they aimed to conquer eighteen mile wide strip along the Serbian-Bosnian border and consolidate Banja Luka as its capital. their sovereignty. On April 6.Štitkovac. Within a week Bosnian Serbs controlled 60 % of the Bosnian territory.12:10) .. the fifty first anniversary of the day Hitler’s bombardment levelled Beograd. Štitkovac 180. (Udovički. Štitkovac 185). and their human rights were the Bosnian Serbs to expect after Bosnia’s eventual secession from Yugoslavia? When the EC recognized Bosnian independence. the EC officially recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina (Udovički. On April 4 1992. Srebrenica Višegrad. Serbian 12 . “Gates of Hell” 10:55 . and from each of them fled thousands of refugees. In addition to turning Sarajevo to ruin. both EC and the Badinter Commission left unaddressed the key questions of the Serbian question. (Udovički. Arkan invited the foreign photographer Ron Haviv to document the operation and the images shocked the public.

On May 2 they completed the establishment of blockades of all major roads leading to the city. 1992 Mate Boban. Shoot in slow intervals till I order you to stop .authorities made everything possible to cleanse the areas they governed from all the non-Serb population either forcing the Muslim and Croats to emigrate. The day after recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the UN. the Serbs built barricades and started a siege which lasted until February 29. was using Serbian shelling of Sarajevo as a smoke screen to pursue their goals in Bosnia.. Croatian activities were sporadically covered by the Western press. It was the longest siege in modern warfare. YNA tried to take the city and despite better equipment. They also cut utilities such as electricity. Because Croats were perceived as victims of Serbian brutality in the Croatian War of Independence in 1991 and it was a country where democratic elections took place. leader of the Bosnian Croats declared the independent republic of Herzeg-Bosna and integrated the ultranationalist 13 . shell the Parliament. one by Bosnian Serbs and one by Bosnian Croats. Target Muslim neighbourhoods . Boutros BoutrosGali. cutting off food and medical supplies. gas. sending them to concentration camps or killing them in various brutal ways (Udovički.. now heavily armed and confident. Thus two separate wars were fought against the Bosnian Muslims. Štitkovac 186 190.23:55)..”(“The Gates of Hell “ 47:43 48:11) In June 1992. and water. when the General Secretary of the United Nations. Shell them till they’re on the edge of madness. visited Zagreb. he received a report that Croatia. “The Gates of Hell 16:20 . 1996.not many Serbs live there. The new Serbian general Ratko Mladić decided to break down the psyche of the city defenders and inhabitants when he issued the following order: “Shell the Presidency. On July 3. their efforts failed. On May 2.

UNPROFOR’s mandate and strength were enlarged in order to ensure the security and functioning of the airport in 14 . whose inadequately armed forces were needed for military support. which he considered to be the “heart of Croat nation”. This bridge was considered as one of the most handsome structures of the Balkan region. Udovički. symbolized the emblem of diverse community of faiths and emblem ethnicity. in Lešva Valley were accompanied by the ethnic cleansing by the Croatian forces. The bridge to most Bosnians. under the threat of economic embargo of Croatia by the American government. Despite the cooperation agreement Croats signed with Bosnian Muslims. In November 1993 the partition of Mostar was concluded and the Croatian forces openly displayed the symbols of the Ustaše era (Ramet 211 – 212. The same year the concentration camp in Konjic was opened. On May 7 1992 Boban met with Radovan Karadžić in Graz to outline the strategy of the partition of Bosnia. Croats signed a treaty proposing the federation with Bosnian Muslims. they signed a treaty of cooperation with the Bosnian Muslims. In June 1992 the United Nation Peace Forces (UNPROFOR) were sent to Bosnia in order to protect the Sarajevo International Airport. Despite these hostilities. During the nine month siege of Mostar. the historic Turkish centre of the town was destroyed including the bridge over the river Neretva. Štitkovac 191-192) Much of the 1993 was marked by the Croatian and Bosnian conflict. Štitkovac 192 – 195). (Udovički. Fights around the Gorni Vakuf. On the same day Bosnian Croats declared their independence. which was their long term objective. Here treatment of the Serbian population mirrored that of Serbian treatment of other nationalities in their concentration camps in Kerarterm and Trnopolje.units of the Croatian Defence League into his militia force and expelled Serbs from the areas in Western Herzegovina. they were buying arms from Serbian government in Belgrade and sold fuel to the Army of the Repoublika Srpska.

Udovički. In the summer 1994 the luck of war turned on the Bosnian Muslim and Croatian side and they experienced their first victories. Žep and Goražde. it was unable to save Srebreneca when the Serbian armed forces approached. but by that time the entire population of the town had been driven away and the concept of safe area had collapsed. (“Pax Americana” 00:50 – 07:50 Ramet 236 – 237. who were unable to protect the population. (Ramet 237 – 240 Udovički. In September UNPROFOR's mandate was further enlarged to enable it to support efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to deliver humanitarian relief throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of these towns was Srebreneica.372 victims of the massacre. but the number might be higher. taking back the territories they had lost whilst the Serbs continued in ethnic cleansing of the territories they held. Štitkovac 197) On August 30. Štitkovac 197-199) 15 .. In 1993 the UN established five “safe area ” zones that were under the protection of the international forces. including the safe areas of Srebrenica.N. the capital of Republika Srpska. In the following two months Bosnian and Croatian armies advanced as far as twelve kilometres from Banja Luka. Bosnian military forces left the area leaving only 400 Dutch UNPROFOR peacekeepers. and to protect convoys of released civilian detainees to the the International Committee of the Red Cross. On July 1995 Ratko Mladić decided to capture the thirty kilometre wide band of territory along the western bank of Drina River. Bosnian government realized that without the support of Western countries. Security Council issued a resolution demanding the withdrawal of the Serbian forces from Srebrenica.Sarajevo. and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to that city and its environs. 1995 NATO launched the airstrikes on the Bosnian Serb military infrastructure and units. The U. The Srebrenica Memorial in the Potočari list 8.

on its website. The peace treaty known as Dayton Accord was signed on November 22. The state is governed by central government with rotating system of Presidency. lead by Frranjo Tudžman and Bosnian Serbs. The number of causalities caused by indirect causes of the war might be even higher. Republika Srpska and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The statistics showed that from 1991 to 1995 in total 97. the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina was split into two self governing entities.2 million people to leave their home of which more than one million returned home. Husein) 16 . The results were positively evaluated by three international institutions. Bosnian Croats . (Pohl.3 % of all of the civilian victims were children. (“Ljudski gubitci u Bosni I Hercegovini” 91 -95). From these. There is no precise statistics concerning the casualties of the war and the number of victims has been subject to the political debate.207 people died or were missing. whose remains are not yet found and whose death or disappearance was a direct result of military operations. (“Programske aktivnosti”) The research aimed to identify all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as missing persons. 26% were Bosnian Serbs and 8 % were Bosnian Muslims.On November 1995 delegations representing Bosnian Muslims lead by Alija Izetbegović. Radovan Karadžć and Ratko Mladič as convicted war criminals were banned from negotiations. who were represented by the Serbian president Slobodan Milošević met. published statistics from research done in 2007. 83% of the civilians killed were Bosnian Muslims. 7. According to United Nation Refuge Agency the Bosnian conflict forced more than 2. The Research and Documentation Center in Sarajevo. According to the Accord. The state would retain a central bank and a constitutional court. 1995 and brought an end to fighting. 66 % of victims were Bosnian Muslims. 60 % were soldiers and the rest are civilians.

17 . directly on the European soil. It tested the ability of the Western world to solve the conflicts occurring in its immediate proximity.Bosnian War was certainly the conflict which shattered the views of many people. who hoped that fall of communism would bring better and more peaceful world configuration.

(Todorova 2) In the preface of the 1913 Report for Carnegie Peace Endowment.” (108) In another instance the report found out Until the nineteenth century the mountain chain. the tribal.3. The connotation that the Balkans where the ‘other of Europe’. Todorova 22) 3 18 . Balkan people are described as the brave soldiers. history and oral tradition in the Balkans uniformly speak of war as a process which includes rape and pillage. (Mazower 1-2. Until the end of the nineteenth century the word ‘Balkans’ was known only to a few travellers3. These views continue colouring information about the region today. was known in the English language and world travel literature under the ancient term Haenus. acting director of the organization used the expression “civilized word” to denote the countries of Western Europe putting it in contrast to the Balkan world. Nicholas Murray Butler. How this image of the Balkans was shaped and how the picture is reflected in the images of Bosnia and Herzegovina are projected by the British and American mass media are important issues to be analysed to gain a fuller understanding of the subject area. Even before the war in the former Yugoslavia. devastation and massacre. (Mazower 1 -2) Over time. Inventing Bosnia and Herzegovina. the perception of the whole region of South-Eastern Europe was marked by the stereotypical views held in the West. courage and devotion in combination with nationalism empowers them to win any war. The whole Balkan region is viewed negatively with connotations of instability. the meaning of the term widened to denote the whole peninsula. however on the other hand “Folk-songs. He states “The circumstances which attended the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 were of such character as to fix upon them the attention of the civilized world. and backwardness. whose morality. backward and violent Europe was gained during wars and political unrest at the turn of the nineteenth century. that divides Bulgaria from east to west and runs parallel to the Danube.” (7) This expression appears several more time always to refer to otherness of the Balkan countries.

according to the then director of the Carnegie Peace Endowment Fund . The Balkan Peninsula and its people have always created this feeling of the other. why they produce so great a loss in men. The Report was titled grandiosely: The Other Balkan Wars.Morton Abramovitz. Christians saw the fall of Constantinople as the proof of degeneracy of Orthodoxy. This is why these wars are so sanguinary. The first was the notion of crusade against the infidel and the second the notion of admiration of the Ottoman Empire. different world in the eyes of Westerners. The former ambassador to Russia and Yugoslavia was. The populations mutually slaughtered and pursued with a ferocity heightened by mutual knowledge and the old hatreds and resentments they cherished. and end in the annihilation of the population and the ruin of whole regions. (Mazower 6) In the sixteenth and seventeenth century. about to serve as the bridge between the wars that happened at different times during the century(Todorova 4). a fragmented Europe floundering in the 19 .the common feature which united Balkan nations was that the war was not waged by the armies but by the whole nations as the report confirms: “The local population is divided into as many fragmentary parts as it contains nationalities. nor can they always be laid to the charge of the volunteers. Since the time when Ottoman forces set foot to the Balkan land.” (148) In 1993 the same institution decided to republish the 1913 Report with an introduction by George Keanan. the ultimate failure of Byzantium as the imperial system and a divine punishment for man’s sins. We have repeatedly been able to show that the worst atrocities were not due to the excesses of the regular soldiery. A Carnegie Endowment Inquiry in Retrospect. and these fight together. each being desirous to substitute itself for the others. the bashi-bazouk. there were two conflicting views in European thought.

the growing importance of industry on the economy in contrast to the still predominantly agrarian society of the East. especially with the political ambitions of the European Powers. Besides. Instead there was more emphasis on the question of its lack of legitimacy. In the eighteenth and nineteenth century. was no longer mentioned in connection with the Ottoman Empire. its reliance on corruption extortion. that of Turkish Christians. two British women. Intensifying activities of the Balkan nations for the political sovereignty. Balkan became the Volkmuseum of Europe. which included the suggestion that Ottoman Empire must be preserved. The literature of the time reflects this view with few exceptions. the West was undergoing an industrial revolution and a transformation of its economic system. The enlightenment with its emphasis on the secularity put the political and religious nature of the Ottoman state in the basket of backwardness. injustice and the natural unavoidability of its decline. Georgina Mackenzie and Adeline Irby. the region of south-eastern Europe was gradually gaining its significance on the geopolitical map of Europe. He was depicted as the most powerful man of the known world and admired for the power. reach and efficacy of his Empire and the grandeur of its capital. A mixture of nineteen century romanticism and the Realpolitik on the part of observers. 20 . Now the Ottoman government was described as tyranny or despotism. The religious tolerance and peace admired before. drew attention to the population that had been up to this time lumped into one category. created a polarized approach of demonizing these populations. Bulgaria. Between 1861 and 1863. travelled extensively through Serb Macedonia. After the War for Greek independence.numerous religious wars and political unrest looked upon the Ottoman rulers as the “Grand Signores”. the British favoured the policy of balance of powers in Europe. (Mazower 7) As the Ottoman military power declined the attitude towards the empire changed.

although she never forgot her class and country and was proudly conscious of her superiority of birth. and they were possessed of a passionate call that drove them on. who had great faith in their religion. 21 .” (Todorova 98) In Bosnian. great belief in progress. William Gladstone commented in 1876 on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina: “more than a third of the population is exiled or homeless and where the cruel outrages . Both travellers were pro-Serbian and in 1869 they found the Orthodox School in Sarajevo and were involved in relief works. great confidence in their nationality and their background. Irby had found a purpose for dedication and was their unswerving champion. breeding and civilization. and their lasting weakness was their inability to work hard. are more and more fastening themselves. upon the Turkish name. as if inseparable adjuncts. New books on Southern Slavs were published which criticized a Western public for paying little attention to the state of dominant nations of the peninsula. . They were Victorian ladies of their era. After Mackenzie died in 1874. She wrote: “The Bosnians always remained semi-barbarians. publishing their travel account in 1866 under the title Travels in Slavonic Province of Turkey-in-Europe. and despite the efforts to produce a better class of peasant woman.Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Irby continued the school until her own death in 1911. .” (XII) The passionate debate about the contemporary issues in the English society found its analogy in the awareness of the “other nations” and in both cases the intellectual society could see no resolutions of the contemporary issues except through charity. the dishonest outweigh the honest. It was accompanied by the drawings of Felix Kanitz and it introduced the British public to a virtually unknown subject: the plight of the Slavs.” (Todorova 98) In the summer of 1876 it was no longer considered bad to have Serbian friends.

In the eighteenth century Greece was considered an essential destination of the grand tours to Europe that American wealthy gentlemen undertook. citizens. Journalists. At the end of the century the number reached 17 principal stations and 256 substations with 184 missionaries. diplomats.coloured men who I had seen in the Indian Territory. In his first novel The Gentle Savage about the Oklahoma Native Americans trying to resist the European sophistication he compares the Balkan mountaineers to Native Americans inhabiting the land and his Herzegovinian guide. which describes 22 . Bulgaria and Greece titled Turkey and His Last Provinces. In 1880 he wrote the first book from Turkey in Europe portraying the Balkans as the border zone between the West and the Orient. In 1869 there were already 21 missionary stations. In his book of poems. diplomatic relations in the Porte sought firstly to protect the rights of the U. Many published their travel memoirs. played an important role in informing the western public on the situation in the Balkan. reminded him mostly of the “stalwart bronze. particularly Januarius McGahan correspondent for the English liberal London Daily. with 46 missionaries and 185 schools. he was inspired by the Balkan legends and folk songs. a veteran journalist who had made his name by reporting the American Civil War and the Carlist War in Spain. McGahan was granted the accreditation by the Russian army to cover the Russian-Turkish war in 1877-78.”(Todorova 107)) William Curtis.S. U. Tomo. correspondent of the Chicago Record wrote a book about his travels through Romania. In 1819 the first American mission was established in Smyrna.S. Numerous accounts were written by tourists. journalists and missionaries.American travellers in the region were quite rare in the 19th century but began to be more numerous towards its end. Christians to the “right faith”. Serbia. Another American journalist to cover the war was Edward Smith King a reporter for Scribner’s Monthly. Its aim was the conversion of the predominantly Muslims and to a lesser extent.

Serbia as peasant state with its lack of anti-Semitism which he contrasted to Romania. urban-rural. the oriental and exotic was substituted with a preoccupation of propriety and accompanied by intolerance. This view saw the Ottoman as the obstacle to progress. From the most sympathetic view it was seen as class retreating from the stage and serving as a source of curiosity and repository of archaic customs and beliefs. Curtis was taken aback by the general “feeling of equality” which he considered as the greatest obstacle in Balkan countries to achieve progress.108) Accounts from later years suggest two opposing views. (Todorova 111) 23 . and backward rural tradition of the Balkans. whose sole value lay in providing the open-air Volksmuseum of Europe. In the other extreme. advanced-backward. which had become the key word of the time. historic-non-historic and so on. (Todorova 110-111) Maria Todorova sums up the aristocratic bias against egalitarian society as: urban bourgeois rational culture against what was perceived as the superstitious. it was predicted for disappearance. industrializedagricultural. (111) The aristocratic view gave way to the burgois attack on corruption and sensuality. The new parliamentary democracies were characterized as the classless states of equality. which was seen as belonging to the economic and social order. All through these years the Americans showed signs that their views were clearly in line with England and that they belonged to the same cultural sphere as England. rational. (Todorova 101 . The second view was a notion originating from the enlightened linear thinking of evolution with its dichotomies of progressive-reactionary. First was the aristocratic sympathy with the ruling elites and disdain for the peasants and the new states. irrational.irrational. What the two views shared was the total dislike of the peasantry. which were seen as threat by some and the positively by other writers.

(Durham “Chapter 1”) Durham described her experience as “coming several centuries back” in time and wipe out your western prejudices. they are not capable of something medium and this should describe the Balkan man in general no matter if he is Albanian.The Balkan became the focus of larger scale attention during the Balkan Wars in 1912 and 1913. as the opposition of progress and give freedom to the inhabitants living there. which were ascribed by some as the result of the ancient hatred among the nations. Despite the Western nations building their empires overseas. Serb. which signalled the outbreak of the World War II. On her travels she had a Balkan guide who explained to her that the Balkan people knew only to love and to hate. (“Chapter 1”) Violence was the term associated with the 24 . leaving behind the travel accounts accompanied by her drawing. Greek or Bulgarian. Durham travelled through the Balkans from 1903.(Todorova 120) An English traveller to the Balkans. The final blow to the image of the Balkan was “given” by Gavrilo Princip and the shooting of Franz Ferdinand de Este in Sarajevo. Mary Edith Durham returned the Order of King Sava that she has received from the Serbian state with the letter addressed to King Peter considering him and his nation guilty of the biggest crime in history. The second war was viewed with discontent as the result of greed over the territory of the newly established states. There was prevailing spirit blaming the Balkans and especially Serbs for the horrors of the war. The Balkans were described before the war as the Powder Keg of Europe which exploded on the 28th of June. they were looking with discontent on the imperialistic ambitions of the Balkan states. In a way it resembled the enthusiasm and the discontent of the previous generations with the states of the Balkans and their consequent development. Christian or Muslim. were disdained for its backwardness and nationalism. The First Balkan War was seen as just war to push out the Ottoman Turks. The Balkans then.

the land of violence. (Todorova 122. when the Yugoslavian kingdom was to be invaded by German and Italy. She writes in her detective novel: Secret of Chimneys with the character Boris Anchoukoff coming from Herzoslovakia. meaning a rastaquouere type of barbarian. then. West described the discomfort her German cotravellers felt when they crossed the border of Croatia as the train was getting late and the food was bad.’ composites (both in name and character) based on several assumptions: that Balkan countries are more or less interchangeable with and indistinguishable from one another. Fleming comments that: “ Syldavia and Herzoslovakia. and later from the prejudices of the French. that there is such a thing as a Balkan ethnic or racial ‘type.’” (1218) The assassination of King Alexander in 1934 drew another English traveller Rebecca West to travel across the former Yugoslavia. that there is a readily identifiable typology of politics and history common throughout the Balkans. Flemming 1218) K. indeed. and mystery. brigandry. who use the word Balkan as a term of abuse. are sort of Balkan ‘everycountries. where the national hobby is assassinating kings and having revolution. of leaves fallen from this jungle. all I knew of the Balkans -. in the dustiest corners of junkshops.all I knew of the South Slavs. of pamphlets tied up with string. which she described in the highly praised travel book Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.Balkans also for Agatha Christie.E. chapter IV)” This book was published in 1941 at a time. She felt uneasy about the reception of the Balkans and their wish to 25 .(West. I derived the knowledge from memories of my earliest interest in liberalism. She expresses her prior knowledge about the peninsula in the following way: “Violence was.

This complexity of the Balkan states was ascribed to the earlier stage of their development than the nation states of the Western Europe. (Todorova 127) Except for the lack of punctuality of the means of transportation. It was the ethic complexity which frustrated the Westerners. the Balkans kill only to manage affairs among themselves not interfering with strangers. yet he expresses feeling of safety walking the Balkan cities as.” (Todorova 128).travel to the Dalmatian coast. (West “Chapter V” In the same manner Archibald Lyall noticed the uneasiness with which Westerners see the Balkans and ascribe it to a certain lack of comfort. According to the Germans she was travelling with. As Lyall remarks: “Everywhere east of the Adriatic there are at least ten sides to every question. a certain indifference to rules and timetables. they were accustomed to the presence of Germans and thus the services of the local hotels were more similar to those in Germany. After the World War II the borders dividing the Orthodox and Muslim from the Western Catholic were substituted by the new borders of the “Iron Curtain dividing free West from communist East. (133-136) Robert D. Communist Russia was viewed by some scholars as the successor of the Ottoman Empire and the countries of the Balkans were left to fall under this regime with the exception of Greece. which started in late 1950s and lasted despite the military dictatorship of George Papadoupoulos between 1967 to 1974. maddening or luminously sane according to temperament and circumstance. which was considered as the “cradle” of Western civilization as the only Balkan nation worthy to fight communism. Lyall noticed strong presence of the “cult of gun” which lead to the Skupština murders in Beograde. a certain je-m’en-fichisme with regard to the ordinary machinery of existence. (249-260) While in Yugoslavia it did not matter who should rule. Kaplan in his book The Balkan Ghosts describes this birth of the Greek tourism myth. in Greece the communist were called gangsters and Greece was 26 . and it is in my mind that one thing is as good as another.

the Balkans as geopolitical notion “Balkan” as derogatory term disappeared from the conversation of the Western politicians and journalists in favour of the term Eastern Europe. where there were only a few Western journalists. who thought the Balkans too obscure a region for significant book sales. the Balkans appears to be a puzzle of confusing complexity. The failure of Communism and the consequent wars in former Yugoslavia caused increased interest for the region in South-East Europe. which he describes as a place.the only Balkan member of the NATO from 1982 until 2007. Kaplan in foreword to the second edition of the Balkan Ghosts: A Journey through History writes: “Balkan Ghosts was completed in 1990. it was granted generous loans from the Western banks to revitalize its economy after the war. before the first shot was fired in the war in Yugoslavia. it is believed to be one of the books that influenced President Bill Clinton against intervention in the conflict. It was initially rejected by several publishers. where he could barely meet stranger. A geographic region inhabited by seven major nationalities [sic!]. “(X) Few years later in 1993 the book became international bestseller and although it tells very little about Bosnia. became the central stage of the world events. (X) American historian Barbara Jelavich in 1983 wrote: “To the outside observer. During the Cold War the Yugoslavian regime was tolerated as it opposed Moscow. The Balkans and Balkanization came into prominence in 1990 and the wars in Yugoslavia. American soldiers were deployed in Macedonia to prevent spreading of violence from the bustling regions of other Yugoslavian countries to the south. During this time. As Kaplan further continues in the region. the only member of the EEC. speaking different languages. it has usually impinged on the Western 27 . (Todorova 135 -136) Robert D. This was a country.

Uncertain Path to Peace . (Rhyme. survivors and camp inmates. People who were fighting were it was a story of war between outwardly simile white Europeans unfolding in a relatively prosperous and familiar environment. the Bosnian War was seen as a result of ancient ethnic hatred and the outside interference should be kept to minimum. from May 1992 to February 1996 Bosnia became regular feature of the nightly news. (Robinson 378 . August 1993. Robinson 384) On one See Bosnia. February 1994. was still perceived as the country in the “heart of Europe”. the Balkan wars of the 1990s produced a tide of books: new histories of Serbia. The coverage peaked in August 1992. diplomats.S and British media presented the war in two basic positions. accounts by foreign correspondents and relief workers. reissues of long out of print titles. First. countless memoirs by politicians. the testimonies of victims.Reading List providing context to the photo essay Bosnia Uncertain Paths to Peace published by the New York Times 4 28 . Croatia. and a variety of academic explorations of the Balkan peninsula 4 . ABC. because the people affected by the conflict were “just like us”. May 1993. nor did it possessed as important geopolitical position as it did during the Cold War. each carried on average 15 stories per month dedicated to the war. Bennett. CBS. and soldiers engaged in the region.consciousness only when it has become the scene of war or acts of violence. Flickinger 598) The U. NBC. New York Times published from January 1992 to January 1996 84 stories per month. The second position advocated and called for large scale international intervention. (Malik 144. anthologies of poetry and prose. and Kosovo.379) In both positions. Bosnia although it had no oil and mineral resources. diaries kept during the siege of Sarajevo. While the coverage of Bosnia and Herzegovina alone in the American media was sporadic.” (Goldsworthy 28) To confirm this observation. Bosnia-Herzegovina. December 1995.

which the British public could not understand. Klak and Koehl presents us with a comparative study of the national U. media presented its two competing images.N. In their finding. Sarajevo was compared to Warszawa ghetto and President Izetbegović compared himself to Czech president Beneš. cultures. First interpretation ignored the fact that external forces. Quite opposite to the Balkanist interpretation of the war presented by Todorova (152) Myers. This interpretation was favoured by the United States. barbaric side of Balkan. was portrayed as sometimes centre of the cosmopolitan Europe. which was partially guilty of inactivity. which even increased the pressure for international intervention in the conflict. which saw all of the warring sides responsible for the war. backed by the U. Another theory was the idea of an aggressive Serbia trying to seize neighbouring territory and create Greater Serbia. First of them was the civil war theory. As such it was viewed as the failure of Europe and civilized world. especially 29 . It was accompanied by a discourse of return to the tribal. In Geneva. religions were co-existing side by side in peace. On the other hand. newspapers were reporting about the military strategies and emphasizing the country’s place within the civilized world (30-43) Throughout the war. talks about the Vance-Ovens Peace Plan in January 1993 were compared with the Munich Conference in September 1938 (390). After the images of Penny Marshall and Ed Vuliany from Omarska and Trnopolje concentration camps media drew analogy between the Ustaše concentration camps in Jasenovac and World War II and the present. More than about the ethnic cleansing and tribal hatred.. with its mysterious bloodthirsty inhabitants (Robinson 390). where different nationalities. unlike the conflict in Africa.S. primitive.hand Bosnia. Bosnia was portrayed from the Orientalists or Balkanist perspective portraying the old ethnic problem. newspaper coverage of the conflicts in Bosnia and Rwanda. European conflict was rarely viewed as tribal and the warring sides as blood thirsty.

This trend was described by Dutch journalist Ruigrok and in Germany by von Oppen. Vulliany and Roy Gutman later witnessed in front of ICTY. some of the commentators expressed the cultural determinist view ascribing predispositions to murder others. the victim and the oppressor. one focused on Sarajevo forgetting the other parts of the country especially Mostar. and will not stand neutrally between good and evil. (8) Journalists serving in Bosnia saw their role as influencing the public to pressure political representatives in their countries to action leading to cessation of violence. and bring the responsible for the war crimes in front of the justice. By this I mean a journalism that cares as well as knows. They appealed: to the international community to bring peace into the country.Serbia and Croatia were involved in a war. nor that people of different ethnicities might intermarry. which according to Kursaphic has a place in civil society but not during the war. We are a part of it. Moreover.(Robinson 392-396) For reporters providing information from Bosnia. Media theorist in the 30 . This is not to back one side or faction or people against another. that is aware of its responsibilities. Second. One dimensional reporting often did not mention the multi-ethnic dimension of the people. still faithful to the notion of objectivity. (Kurtasic 80). right and wrong. left the requirement of neutrality. A term coined by Michael Bell former correspondent in Yugoslavia who describes the effect in the following way: In place of the dispassionate practices of the past I now believe in what I call the journalism of attachment. (80) Journalists who reported from the war were often trapped in the quasi-Stockholm syndrome and their reporting depended on which side they were reporting from. Some of them like Ed. it is to make the point that we in the press […] do not stand apart from the world.

Media may function alternatively or simultaneous as a policy agenda-setting agent. Commander adhered to what they considered as strict impartiality to avoid becoming participants in warfare (Malik 148). interrupted by the brief periods of peace. 31 . On the other hand it had also the negative effect when France and Great Britain enforced the role of UNPROFOR as Peace keeping not Peace enforcing units.late 80s and early 90s termed the effort and power of the 24/7 news media to influence the foreign policy as CNN effect. an impediment to the achievement of desired policy goals. has been view throughout history as the bridge between the East and the West. due to its proximity to the main European centres. including Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Balkans. The image of the region often depends on which nation did different authors choose as their favourite ones and the following interpretations of the region is presented in favour of this nation views disregarding others. In these times it was often presented as the European moral failure and the “Civilized World” had to intervene in order to stop the bloodshed. but on the other hand they were faced with the continuing bloodshed and inability of the international community to stop the killing. The positive role of the media was seen when the infamous Serbian and Croatian internment camps were closed soon after being reported on the media. and yet the land of chivalry and brave soldiers. It came into prominence in the Western media and literature especially during the times of war. Violence was often presented as the work of dark forces hidden within its inhabitants and the present conflicts as a part of continuum of Centuries old ethnic conflict. Journalists serving in Bosnia on one hand realized their power to influence public opinion. Not quite the oriental East and not quite the West. and an accelerant to policy decision making (Livingston 2). It was often characterized by its lack of civilization and backwardness.

the film. however this picture has changed with the Bosnian War and the siege of Sarajevo. In the next chapter we will see how the region. In this chapter we saw the evolution of the image of the Balkans in the literature and the news media.discriminating the other ones.In this chapter we saw the evolution of the image of the Balkans in the literature and the news media. more specific countries of the Former Yugoslavia were presented in the moving pictures. In the past authors presented the Balkans as the predominantly rural region. media presented Bosnian people of all ethnic groups like the ordinary Europeans or Americans and the war was not caused by the Balkan mentality. The inhabitants of the peninsula are either viewed as backward bloodthirsty peasant-soldier always ready to pull the trigger in order to kill or an exotic noble savage who reminds the West the long forgotten medieval values and who needs to “enlightened” by the civilization. Nonetheless we have left out one important medium. but was a side-effect of the fall of the Communist regimes throughout the Eastern Europe. 32 . Besides from the traditional Balkanist view.

Bosnia in the Film There are several publications written about the Balkan image in Western film. and the Media.4. the film is marked by strong local ethnic colours such as Turks. The film is composed of several thematic blocks. Bulgarian born scholar. (Dakovic 70) Since that time. Nevena Dakovic identified three patterns of Balkan representation in film. British. 33 . provides a description of the Balkan depicted by the Western as well as Balkan filmmakers themselves. According to Dakovic. Serbia and the Balkans were represented in Western cinema in two forms. Alexej Timofejev focuses on the depiction of Former Yugoslavia during the World War II in the American. ironic pattern and historical pattern. Albanians and the highlander population shown in a variety of costumes. all have used the established exotic. historic and other motifs which contributed to the romantic curiosity and attention by the public and this image was broadly used to depiction the Balkans in later productions. Dakovic dates one of the first cinematic images of Serbia by foreign filmmakers to 1904. This was the first film to present the exotic. One such publication was an article written by Nevena Djaković titled “The Threshold of Europe: Imagining Yugoslavia in Film” which gives a brief overview of Yugoslavian image in American films. Dina Iordanova in her book Cinema of Flames: Balkan Film. It was footage of the coronation of the King Peter I by Englishman Arnold Muir Wilson. coronation and travel though the Oriental parts of the country. romanticised characterisation of the Balkan region. However there is no clear border between these styles of representation. Culture. procession. the romantic pattern. German and Soviet cinematography. either the films were set in the region or film characters came from there.

Films. dir. identified as the barely disguised turbulent Serbian monarchical chronicle. According to Dakovic. make-believe place. Ruritania. It introduced to the screen Ruritania. which see the Balkans under the romantic pattern comes predominantly from the classical Hollywood era. The aura of the Balkan mystery is expressed in Jacques Tourneur’s Cat People (1942) which can be associated with the regions in two ways. a country somewhere beyond the forest like Transylvania. a combination of Slavic sacrificing self-destructiveness and erotic. Irene initiates a line of cursed Balkan beauties. an image that joins the Hollywood pastiche scenery album of romantic places like Scotland of Brigadoon (1954. Serbia and the whole Balkan region caused filmmakers to look at it in the romantic way. Secondly. love is the way opposite cultures are brought together. Vincent Minelli). the vivid mountain area of Montenegro serves as the backdrop for its heart breaking love stories. melodramatic adventure and drama of errors are more specifically. dir. where love could solve all of the problem or a place of mysterious and dangerous exotica. or the Shangri La of Lost Horizon (1937. and more easily. Frank Capra). (70) In this bucolic world. (Dakovic 70 – 72) 34 . this pattern refers to Serbia as an idyllic. which could have dire consequences. (Dakovic 70) Cecil DeMille found the commercial potential of stories set in the Balkan when he shot Unafraid (1915) and Captive (1915). which became the archetypal symbol of the Balkan land because of its historical allusions evoked dynastic. the story connects to the Balkan region in its utilization of medieval legends dealing with Werewolves. In these films. sensuous southern/even half gypsy women that inspire passion trimmed with death. Three screen adaptation of Antony Hope’s Prisoner of Zenda (1894) were important points in framing Serbia. and the predictable melodrama premised on fascinating haunted love and rendered more exhilarating by being set in a regional unpredictable history. First its heroine Irena Dubrovna is of Serbian origin.

in the Westerner’s mind Yugoslavia was a place of cheap tourist resorts. Daković sees the film as the Bildungs-film dealing with the coming to maturity of a boy of Yugoslav origin. but rather peripherally imply Serbia/Yugoslavia to be a semi-developed. or mention. /The Hunter's Bag (1997. In the cultural clash the second generation immigrants pay the high price for their assimilation and acculturation. Gregor Nicholas). From 1950s Yugoslavia started its Westernization and modernization in an attempt to reshape its identity. Maurizio Zaccaro) Yugo: Dragnet (1987. According to Dakovic. dir. While the communist countries of Eastern Europe might have symbolized the intermediary between two regimes.(Dakovic 72-73) 35 .. dir.) emigration: Broken English (1997. Drowning Mona (2000. The later theme is often covered by Yugoslavian émigrés like the screenwriter in Arthur Penn’s Four Friends (1981). Alex Proyas). this ironic pattern is recognizable in narratives that do not explicitly deal with. dir. dir. Nick Gomez. work in the steel mills of East Chicago and the patriarchal customs of the "old country" cherished by his hardworking. Backfire (1994. godforsaken. homesick father who dances "kolo" with his compatriots.) Evil Under the Sun (1982.) The Crow (1994. Dean Bell). dir. dir. Other subthemes such as tourism or economic immigration in search of better living condition are of no better faith. impoverished or economically backwards Third World State. dir. dir Tom Mankiewicz.On the other hand. economic decline and industrial products of poor quality such as the Yugo which appears as the unreliable car in Die Hard (1995). Guy Hamilton). Sidney Lumet. traumas of Vietnam. Danilo's (Craig Wasson) journey to adulthood meanders between the American sixties. A vast number of examples confirm that the downplayed role of Yugoslavia in this mode is hugely deceptive: tourism: Murder in the Orient Express (1974. A. the Balkans were represented on the screen in yet another image.

who. historical pattern. a Dutch émigré. His wife Jelica was played by another émigré. Producers changed the name from Chetnik to Undercover. the film plays on the abstract motives of partisans fighting Germany. Max Ophüls) and Ultimatum (1938. Serbs are depicted as the only ones who still fight fascism in Europe. American and British propaganda used armed resistance of Draža Mihailović as the tool to mobilize the public morale. The assassination is seen both as an admirable fanatic gesture against oppression and as the ironic. Later. but otherwise Alexander Timofjejev says. dir. American film Chetnik . Anna Sten. even stupid end of an epoch regarded with nostalgia. Civil war between the two resistance groups and the socialist revolution 36 . (Timofejev 4043). dir. the creators depicted quite reliably the living condition of the guerilla leader. between 1937 – 1939. British producer Michael Balcon and director Sergej Nolbandov shot a film in London inspired by the positive image of the Yugoslav royalists in the British press which was called Chetniks. During World War II.On the other extreme is traditional. The film uses several of facts such as a name of Mihailovic’s wife and number of their children and place where the anti-fascist movement took place wrong. Timofejev explains that scriptwriters of the film were not asked to search the real details in depth. Films shot after the World War II dealt with the resistance against German fascist occupation. Louis King) casts Philip Dorn. though the British government shifted their support from Draža Mihailović and his supporters to the partisans of Josip Broz Tito. Yugoslavs are seen in the war resulting from the 1914 assassination of the Archduke in Sarajevo depicted in De Mayerling à Sarajevo (1940.. was shooting action movies in Berlin. as the main character of Draža Mihailović. Robert Wiene and Robert Siodmak). a successful actress in the USSR.The Fighting Guerillas (1942 dir. undoubtedly done by Serbian conspirators (Daković 73). but their task was to show the spirit of the freedom of first European guerilla fighters.

In the scenes of their encounter. According to Dakovic it seems like a concentration of all of the typical motifs.. desirable but unfaithful wives and betrayal of military secrets. This notion is mirrored in films concerned with either flimsy. It tells the story of writer Cornelius Leyden (Peter Lorre) who searches for Greek spy. we are exposed to the typical Balkan imagery such as macho gambling in smoky coffee houses. Terence Young) is set in the Orient Express travelling through Yugoslavia. Belgrade and the whole of Yugoslavia served as a dangerous spy nest where human life had no price. The idea was to emphasize Yugoslavia as the 37 . crystallized collective images of the Balkans where accuracy is of no importance to an audience that does not know much about the topic. Retracing Dimitrios takes Leyden to Belgrade. which looks very much like dim military towns resembling the towns in Russia. arch criminal and womanizer Dimitrios Makropoulos (Zachary Scott). One of the most notable films is Mask of Dimitrios (1944 dir Jean Nagulescu) based on the Eric Amber’s 1939 novel with the same name. He encounters two corrupt government officials Wladislaw Grodek (Victor Francen) and Karel Bulic (Steven Geray). dir. the Russian agent manages to get onto the train. but does not accomplish his mission. Charles Damic) or with the relations between the patriotic anti-communist Chetniks and the revolutionary yet equally patriotic communist partisans and their international supporters (Dakovic 73-74). Richard Conte) The Secret Invasion (1964. which resembles Budapest.going on at the same time. Bomb at 10:10 (1966 dir. corruption was common practice and military secrets were betrayed. During the Cold War period. illegal operations behind enemy lines. (74) An important part of James Bond From Russia With Love (1963 dir. Roger Corman). people have nonSerbian names and their language reminds one of a soft Slavonic whisper. During the stops in these cities. dir. It stops in Zagreb and Beograd. Operation Cross Eagles (1969.

the city was an ordinary city. (Dakovic 74 . seeks his revenge and plants an atomic bomb in the UN building in the heart of New York. who lost everything in the war. the city would be depicted as the larger summary of the Balkan cities. where Dusan (Marcel Lures) a man. Nevena Dakovic says that Yugoslavia became the equivalent of the Third World anguish in Europe and is frequently spoken of in different ways. (Iordanova 235). Also Bond’s thinking “On whose side is Tito?” alludes to Tito’s policy receptive towards the both sides of the Cold War. as it was destroyed several times and again resurrected and reconstructed by the artists. The Bosnian War provides a background for displaying the skills of almighty protagonists such as Nicolas Cage presents in the movie Rock (1996 dir.“hole” in the Iron Curtain enabling the loosening of the Eastern Bloc Grip. not quite European look. Mimi Leder). was forgotten and replaced by the image of dynamic cosmopolitan location that had now fallen prey to the dark forces.75) War torn pictures of Sarajevo started to appear on screen as early as 1992. Michael Bay) when he prevents an emotionless Serbian anarchist from hiding a deadly weapon into a toy sent to a Bosnian refugee camp. Sarajevo gained the war torn city reputation. In 1990s the Balkans as an actual war zone became a profitable topic for various filmmakers. thus urban monsters 38 . with an Oriental. but still modern with its architecture and the place where the 1984 Olympic Games took place. Another such display is presented in the movie Peacemaker (1997 dir. Sarajevo’s reputation as the originator of the apocalypse of the World War I. Media scholar Dina Iordanova thinks that if there was no war. For example hunger in Bosnia is mentioned in with blissful indifference during courteous dinner chitchat in Home for the Holidays (1995 dir Jody Foster). Before the war.

which had only limited exposure. Western 39 . (236) Iordanova then denies Sarajevo its cosmopolitan status before the war.the way Sarajevo was narrated depended on the arrival and departure of the film-makers. usually documentary footage produced by the Sarajevans was widely used in Western productions. These pictures were put in contrast to the earlier city photographs. who portrayed the city. because cosmopolitanism implies mobility and involves people coming from all over and dispersing again in all directions. which was only partially told by the people who lived there. Iordanova believes that Sarajevo came to embody tolerance and multiculturalism precisely. because it was destroyed -its crazy charisma emerged parallel with its destruction. Films made by Sarajevans. which captured the European look or the Oriental character of the city. Iordanova claims that the city gained its cosmopolitan status because of the siege. appreciation and respect for Sarajevo’s martyred citizens with a degree of attentiveness not normally granted to inhabitants of the region. Tensions arouse between the Westerners and their perception how the city and its inhabitants should be represented. diverse landscape of Christian Churches and Mosque inhabiting the same landscape stressing the contested multiculturalism. while Sarajevo was a crossroads with steady traffic flow arriving from known places and travelling in established directions. After the war. the cinematic image of the city has changed and into the foreground came the pictures of suffering. (237) Decisions on comings or going on leaving or staying were crucial in the politics of representation .symbolizing the incompetence of all communist undertakings littered with depressing housing projects and marked by the characteristic urban architecture of socialism (235 236). Contrary to the claim that this crazy but charismatic town was the place that most embodied tolerance and multiculturalism and that is why it had to be destroyed. but largely unaccredited (Iordanova 237).

(Iordanova 243. Marcel Ophuls left Paris in 1993 for a few months to shoot The War Correspondent (1994). (Iordanova 242) Australian director Tahir Cambis desired to leave civilization and Sarajevo was the place for his exile. the city would still be considered semi oriental and its inhabitants would not be known beyond the borders of the republic. Stratton) Apart from documentary. but also on the screen. It covers last six months of the war and its impact on the life of civilians. where a Westerner arrives in the Balkans.had the images of suffering not been transmitted worldwide. Western filmmakers left their own comfortable homes and environment and moved to Sarajevo where they told their stories from “being present” point of view in an attempt to depict what the war really meant. they would have appeared briefly at the end of the news and been forgotten for next day . but with art and creativity. The film Exile in Sarajevo (1997) was a product of this journey. explore or undergo controversial 40 . where Western travellers could face controversial experiences and then reassert their superiority by resolving the problems competently. Without the massacres. His personal account depicts such moment as the killing of young girl after winning a dance contest and falling in love with his Bosnian sound recordist Alma Sahbaz. Had the massacres not been witnessed by international eyes. Bill Tribe leaves London to shoot his personal war account titled Urbicide (1993). fully comparable to that of Spanish Civil War. Even they follow the travelogue structure.tradition “dictated” that the city was to be depicted as a Balkan location. the Bosnian War was topic of numerous feature films that shaped the public view of the region as a whole. (Iordanova 238 -241) This fight was not visible only during the cultural activities that were sponsored by the Western intellectuals in the city during the war. Bosnia was conceptualized as a secular melting pot and this atmosphere enabled the intellectual to establish the project of intellectual solidarity. but this time dark forces were fought not with arms.

Predrag Antonijević) follows a mercenary fighting for Serbs.experience and who then report on them on the safety of their home. which is a story of friendship and gradually shifts to depiction of one of them as a monster killing woman and children approaching a water tank on a Sarajevo street. and which can never escape the shadow of its history. 41 . in her book Cinema of Flames: Balkan Films Culture and the Media. Michael Winterbotton) and Spanish Comanche Territory (1997 dir. describes drama. blood and tragic mindset as the essential part of the general Balkan narrative. The two most recent Western films about the Balkans. Élie Chouraqui) wife of a Pulitzer Prize winning photographer travels to Croatia to find her husband. The narrative of the peninsula is about the area doomed to cyclical conflict. British Welcome to Sarajevo (1996 dir. exotic and romantic region of the past with inferior products of industry and love for war and armed conflicts. use of the topics and images only reiterate the old stereotypes of the Balkans as the troublesome region on the periphery of Europe. Angelina Jolie) tell about the atrocities and raping that encounter Muslim women in Serbian prison camps. In Harrison’s Flowers (2001 dir.(72) Balkan and especially Bosnia and Herzegovina appears as the dark place on the map of civilized Europe. As If I Am Not There (2010 dir. To add authenticity. Juanita Wilson) and In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011 dir. Another way to depict the conflict in the Balkans is through the human interest stories which include intensified emotional appeal such as Shot through the Heart (1998 dir David Atwood). Behind Enemy Lines (2001 dir. John Moore) tells the story of American pilot shot down in enemy territory. Dina Iordanova. Savior (1998 dir. some of these films are shot in the local language with local actors. However authentic these films might appear. Gerardo Herrero) are written from the perspectives of journalist reporting on Bosnia. mysterious.

I took that stuff very seriously. Despite this. O'Grady was an F-16 pilot who was shot down in Bosnia in 1995.S. Instead actors coming from 42 . which was aired during the MTV Music Awards 1997. Until this film.5. Scott O’Grady.000. Chris Burnett. I'd been there. Nor did the efforts to cast Serbian actors succeeded. when the scriptwriters David Veloz and Zak Penn rewrote the script. Many reviewers of Behind Enemy Lines see the quick editing of the movie and larger than life hero performance on the battlefield resembling a video game itself. headquarters show events occurred in the Srebrenica region and Dayton Accord becomes." (Piccalo) This Director was Irish born John Moore and he was speaking about the original script of his debut film Behind Enemy Lines. he accepted the role of director film with estimated budget $40. There are not a lot of movies of which its directory says: “"It [the script] was so horrendously out of whack I had studied the wars in Bosnia. (Harrison. Serbs refused to play in the movie because of its anti-Serbian sentiment. (Harrison. Moore told Owen Wilson. that there was not a single good line in the movie. Even later. Wilmington) The plot of the film bears slight similarities to the story of Air Force Pilot Capt. most notably for Dreamcast video game. Despite Moore’s effort to shoot the movie in Bosnia. this film is not the true story. Cincinnati Accord. [This script] was genuinely ridiculous with the actors escaping in World War I biplanes and stuff.000. however the map of the U. who was about to play the leading role of Lt. It is set in Southern Bosnia. Subsisting on a diet of ants. Humphries) Although this title has been used for discovery channel about O’Grady. Moore was shooting short films aired on Irish networks as well as television commercials. Behind Enemy Lines. producers of the movie chose a safer location in Slovakia. O'Grady hid from Serb soldiers for six days before a dramatic rescue by Marine forces. in the film.

The European officer following does not want to risk the peace in Bosnia and cannot authorize the rescue team to be sent into the de-militarized zone. Stackhouse wounds his leg while landing. NATO aircrafts are prohibited in this area. Tracker (Vladimir Meškov) and colonel Bazda (Marko Igonda) are sent to find and kill him. Lt. Meanwhile the Serbian army find the pilot and executes him. Burnett persuades Stackhouse to fly closer and photograph the mass graves Serb general Miroslav Lokar (Oleg Krupa) is constructing to hide an act of genocide on the local M uslim population. the fighter tries to out manoeuver those shooting at them. Burnett decides to climb to the top of a hill and call from there. He feels frustrated with his job. He is based on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. Lokar orders the plane shot down. Burnett succeeds in his efforts to communicate with Admiral Reigart who promises him the rescue team to be sent. Poles. He requests to leave the service. Czechs and Slovaks were to play the Serb villain or Bosnian civilians. Burnett and his pilot Stackhouse detect Serbian activity in what is supposed to be a demilitarized zone. Despite this. Chris Burnett (Owen Wilson) is a fighter jet navigator serving during the Bosnian conflict. Because there is no signal to call for help. Instead he commands 43 . Burnett observes this scene and screams in horror thus unintentionally revealing to the enemy his presence. because of a lack of action. In a breath taking scene with fast cutting between shots. such as Russian. Desperate to avoid discovery. but his commander Admiral Reigart (Gene Hackman) ignores this request and instead sends him on a Christmas day on a reconnaissance flight over Bosnia. but first the Admiral’s decision must be green lighted by the NATO Commander Admiral Piquet (Joaquin Almeida). The airplane crew is forced to eject from the plane. but they are eventually hit.other Slavic nationalities.

with trucks loaded with soldiers and tanks. Burnett succeeds in switching uniforms with a dead Serbian soldier. listed in the credits as Ice Cube. just when a Bosnian man threatens to kill Burnett. On the hill. Burnett is saved as he jumps off the cliff and catches the leg of a mariner hanging on a rope connected to the helicopter with Admiral Reigart on board. Burnett accidentally falls into the mass grave. He offers Burnett bottle of Coca Cola and impresses him with his knowledge of the Public Enemy songs. While travelling.he is confronted with the Bosnian civilians living in poor conditions and discovers they were photographing the mass murder of local Muslim population by general Miroslav Lokar. Burnett physically encounters the tracker for the first time and in the fight he kills him. While he is escaping his prosecutors. When they arrive in the town Hač. which he refuses to take and retires with all the honours. Lokar arrives in the town. so the rescue team to pick up Burnett is called off. which in impressive way gradually explodes one by one. accusing him of causing the troubles. Admiral Reigart was offered the administrative job. Reigart watching Burnett’s hiding via a thermal satellite. while Burnett stays in the navy. who has left the USS Carl Vinson to save his soldier.Reigart to reroute Burnett to the safe area. Navigator decides to activate the saving signal transmitting device and take the hard drive with the mass grave photographs. The photographic material Burnett has saved is used as evidence of war crimes and genocide during the ICTY trial against General Lokar. The Serbs then play a game with the media and claim he had been killed by the Bosnian Muslim guerrilla fighters. He befriends one. he hides under a dead body. 44 . Burnett encounters Tracker in deserted factory riddled with landmines. decides to report the situation to the media. When Lokar arrives. despite not having consulted with the NATO command. Burnett is picked up by a car with Bosnian civilians. but at that moment the Serbian army arrives in full force.

First of all.(“Bosnia and Herzegovina” Google Maps. the big screen map gives the location in Eastern Bosnia. the place reminds one of a shed or a medieval workshop rather than twenty Three towns were shown on the signpost in the scene when Burnett hitchiked the car to Hač.S Navy headquarter is either lit by a solid electric light bulbs or by the blue glare of monitor screens suggesting the free spirit and technical superiority. two facts should be noted. which is about 458 kilometres from Bijelina. “Bosnia and Herzegovina. After calculation of the distance between Janja. The region of Southern Bosnia is located near Mostar. and Bijelina and their distance from Srebrenica revealed that the town Hač might correspond to Srebrenica. shot on glaring in the sun with a few clouds surrounding it. Similarly. corresponds approximately with that position56. desolation and mystery. In the movie. on the contrary. the film was shot in Slovakia instead of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Secondly the inaccuracies of the geographic setting of the events it should be noted. USS Carl Winson is. While the place of the mission and landing is said to be in southern Bosnia. Bijelina is located on the East of Bosnia near the border with Serbia. where all kinds of evil can happen. A simple search on the internet site providing routes for motorists. In contrast.Regarding the setting of the film. These towns were Bijelina and Janja. 6 45 . especially in the scene when the Serbian engineers succeed in deconstructing the shot down fighter. interior scenes from the Serbian headquarter is shot in dark colours with lack of light. a region which would correspond the location of Srebrenica. Dark and cold colours used during the outdoor Bosnian scenes suggests hostile and cold environment. The colours change when it begins to be clear that Burnett is going to be saved. the settings in the Slovak High Tatras with its high snowy mountains peaks and dense forests creates a feeling of isolation.” Nokia Maps). in the interior scenes the U. creating a notion of the oasis of freedom in the hostile Balkan environment. because producers considered the original location to be too dangerous.

we observe the Serbian signs hanging on the wall dividing the picture on two parts. the Bosnian Town where Burnett escapes to. This notion of mystery is preserved in the next scene when we are introduced to General Lokar and Colonel Bazda. Colonel Bazda is standing in front of General Lokar. Through the arch. upon his arrival to Hač. finds that there is still shooting going on. we see through the tracking shot of soldier announcing to Lokar of the NATO aircraft presence. Lt. with at first hidden and later overt inclination to inhuman brutal deeds. Burnett. Hač. is an embodiment of the chaos and horror of war.century military headquarter. Throughout the whole scene we do not see Lokar’s face in full. We see either close up shot of his eyes or his lips. We see Bazda’s face expressing hidden anger. engaged in an action we later find out was the genocide of the Muslim population. Instead of the ceasefire expected as a result of the Cincinnati Accord. When the Serbian military discovers the flight. In the first scenes of the film we see unidentified soldiers moving in slow motion. The whole closeness of the scene creates the tension within the characters and identifies them with anger and hatred. while the other figure is lying on the ground. On the right part there is the television set standing on the antique table next to an antique chair under the window which appears to be the major source of light of the room. The next long shot establishes viewer’s relationship to the scene but again does not reveal much about the main characters.up shot catches general’s dark eyes blinking as we hear the television newscast reporting a the signing of the Cincinnati Accord in the background. The atmosphere in the dark castle is tense compared to the relaxed 46 . All the scene reveals is one leg lying on the table under the Serbian coat of arms. We see them in close or middle shot but the full purpose of their actions is not revealed. Serbian antagonists are depicted as men of mystery. On the left part of the picture we see two figures watching television. The first close.

that he should think more and be ruled less by emotions and he would live longer. The other main antagonist. they give him accusing glances and the Muslim woman claims that they should use the American in some way while another civilian in black coat threatens him with gun accusing him of bombings and the cause of Lokar’s entry into the town. who offered Burnett a bottle of Coke and knew by heart the popular American song by Public Enemy. their only feelings are of disgust over the smell of decomposing bodies.atmosphere on the USS Carl Vinson. Despite his long hair and dirty 47 . Serb officers without any sympathy steps on Stackhouse wounded leg. While Americans are playing football or eating dinner. When Burnett hides in the shelter with other civilians during his stay in Hač. while we are not clear about his military rank. Tracker Sasha. Tracker has greasy dark hair and like other Serb soldiers he is often pictured with a cigarette. brief and commanding. wears a track suit while other Serbian military personnel wear uniforms. Tracker is stripped of showing any emotion when Bazda steps on a landmine and pleads with him for help. Serbs are cleaning their guns. What is surprising. Tracker speaks very little and when he speaks it is usually very short. Instead of helping his friend he runs away. the general tells Bazda. The Bosnian Serb Army is shown expressing no feelings of remorse when searching for Burnett in the mass grave. Serb brutality is deliberately highlighted in the scene when Serbian Army enters the town plundering and levelling the buildings with tanks. They show no respect to the Geneva conventions and Tracker executes him mercilessly and cowardly from the back. In the first scene army headquarters. Even the civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina were depicted as people. is thatTracker was called to command the shot down of the jet fighter and seems to enjoy a lot of authority. who hate foreigners. The only friendly depiction of the Bosnian people takes the form of Americanized character titled Ice Cube.

The surreal depictions of the land and its inhabitants gives no signs of place and if we exclude the pictures of genocide and the language. The press saw the film as either too positive and a realistic depiction of the war. Behind Enemy Lines received mixed reactions from film critics. always clean and orderly dressed and mannered in comparison to semi-barbaric and dirty anti-heroes7. which makes this film the most commercially successful of all those that were analysed. he is depicted as a positive character that follows Burnett when he escapes the town and joins him. many times more interesting than the film itself. Bosnia in Behind Enemy Lines reiterates the pictures of mass murder and despicable Serbs that appears in the media. where the laws of man were yet to prevail over the law of the nature. But for Burnett this is a personal fight that only he can win. full of cliché and far from reality (Harrison. LaSalle). The hero is white. (Warshow) Bosnia as part of the Balkans was the border of civilization. However according to Box Office Mojo it grossed $91. it could be the story about any place in the world. The scene where Stackhouse witnesses the arrival of the Serbian army resembles the scene of Native Americans coming to attack from classical western movies. The films reception varied depending on the political attitude of journalists and the papers for which they were writing.753. The deserted nature and unfriendly armies is a formula used in many action films. Even the dichotomy between the antagonists and protagonists in the movie resembles the formula used when describing the Wild West. Kempley.202 in total of which 64 % came from domestic market. which shows Americans in the best light (Piccalo. Arsen and Gordon in their article in Newsweek magazine ascribe the success of the movie to the See for example depiction of the Western hero in Robert Warshow. The Movie Chronicle: Westerner 7 48 .looks. Rosen) or as being too pathetic.

but the situation changed and in the fall of 2001 the film was decribed as “just exactly what America needs” 49 . While before the terrorist attacks the audience after the first screening regarded the film as being over the top.tastes of the audience and their change after 9/11 and the coming war in Afghanistan which raised demand for patriotic war films.

When he is assigned to film the story from Ljubica Ivizić orphanage run by the devoted Mrs Savić (Gordana Gadzić). but according to Martin Trevis the production mixer of the film.. only twelve days of them were shot in Sarajevo due to high insurance costs. In the Sarajevo he meets Flynn (Woody Harrelson). On the last day of Henderson’s assignment the ITN producer Jane Carson (Kerry Fox). by adding all the stories up. in an interview with Betsy Pickle describes the film in the following way: "I saw it as a series of short stories. Hopefully. later Sarajevo. The film schedule was to be over nine weeks. introduces him to the American aid worker Nina (Marisa Tomei). According to a U." says Winterbottom. who is chasing sensations and adventure.N." The dominant plot is the story of an ITN reporter Michael Henderson (Stephen Dillane). She pitches the story as 50 .6. Michael Winterbotton. ITN hires a local driver Risto (Goran Visnjić). Henderson promises Emira (Emira Nusević) a nine year old orphan he will take her out of Bosnia. Welcome To Sarajevo Welcome to Sarajevo was the first foreign film to be shot in the war torn city itself. It was filmed in 1996 just a few months after the Dayton Accord was signed. children cannot be evacuated because the Serbs want the city to be empty and any evacuation would mean collaboration with the Serbs. The plot of the film is loosely based on the book by the ITN reporter Michael Nicholson The Natasha’s Story. you get some sort of impression of the city. who organizes the supply food to children and escorting babies and children to relatives abroad. who also serves as their interpreter. (Trevis) The film received predominantly positive reviews and in 1997 its Director Michael Winterbotton was nominated for the Golden Palm Award in the International Canes Film Festival. you've seen lots of people's stories. an American heavy drinking and smoking macho reporter. official. "At the end of the film. who covers the Yugoslavian Wars first in Vukovar.

Serbian Chetnik leader (Dragan Marinković) almost picks up Emira. watches the video of Emira and talks on the phone with her. On their journey through the territory held by the Serbs. because she does not fit into any of the official categories. He gets the job and works as a driver and translator for the ITN crew. Welcome to Sarajevo is a film interwoven with a several subplots. who has studied in England. where most of the journalists were accommodated. Through the course of the war he joins the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Emira quickly adapts to her new home in England. where she learns English and becomes a part of the family. The siege is Sarajevo. Henderson decides to find Emira’s mother (Vesna Orel) and ask her sign the papers for adoption. Emira’s mother.” He had killed a man and claimed it was a therapeutic experience for him.. Emira cannot go. where his friend lends him a jacket to attend a job interview. He is shot dead in his own apartment as he returns from a meeting 51 . because. a former bartender at the Holiday Inn. in his own words: “I used to think my life and a siege were different things and now I realize there is no life in Sarajevo apart from siege. One of them tells about Risto. If you are not part of it you are dreaming. that Emira has a mother. After Munira. she signs the adoption papers. but instead of her he takes the baby she is always carrying. Together they visit the orphanage where they pick up the selected children. you are asleep. Jane Carsson phones Henderson to inform him. the bus is stopped and some of the kids. He does so with the help of Željko (Dražen Sivak). Then. presumable with Serbian surnames are taken out.the epic tale of exodus. so Henderson decides to take her at his own risk. out of a blue. the Bosnian translator. On one occasion journalists sit with Risto and his friends and watch him burning the books as he tells them about burning of the National Library of Sarajevo including the precious richly decorated old manuscript of Hagada. In the first scene we see him carrying the water tanks into a shelter.

The film offers a rich depiction of the city and its inhabitants during the war. on the camera. the kids from the orphanage tell. Ed Vulliamy of the London Observer. This occasion personally touches journalists.with Henderson. but I wasn't there. but never experienced it by losing someone close. We are not told how he earned it. This is shown on TV with Henderson’s voice over. also veteran journalist who covered the war. “Who the hell is this guy?" I asked my fellow previewer. which they witnessed every day. we see also Western politicians like John Major. 52 . There is a story of Željko who first appears as a bartender making money on phone calls and profiteering. The combination of the actual news footage with the steady cam handheld camera imitating the news camera creates the feeling of reality and authenticity. Later we see him driving a nice car. their tales. the film is loaded with micro-stories from various places. Bill Clinton and Lord Owen. for whom the war was in many respect only a job. who won every prize in British journalism for his coverage of Bosnia. he is a gangster. First of all. However the film is a work of fiction and there are several misconceptions about the war." I shot back. Flynn and Annie McGee (Emily Lloyd) obtain permission from Radovan Karadžić allowing them to pass through the Bosnian Serb borders.” "You. Roy Gutman who was covering the Bosnian War for Newsday was seeing this movie with his colleague Ed Vulliany from the London Observer. "Hey. but as Jane Carson suggested. On one of their visits they film the story of the concentration camps in Omarska and Trnopolje with a picture resembling the Nazi practices during the World War II. In addition to the real news footage from Bosnia." replied Vulliamy. Apart of these.

"It must be you. (Gutman) For Graham Broadbent one of the film producers: “the key to succeeding with Welcome to Sarajevo was finding a way to personalize the kinds of stories that had been told on the news. "I don't mind that so long as it gets people talking. but Serbian Orthodox. Gutman further explains that not only was Flynn’s triumphal return invented. but it happened on March 1992. "You invent characters 53 . He admits that the character of Flynn was added to the story. Winterbottom was more brief. The first Western journalists to visit the concentration camps were Ed Vulianny accompanied by ITN’s Penn Marshal and Ian Williams. "Every night the news had another Bosnia story. the recovery of the corpse and almost everything in the film." (Gutman) Gutman explains that he wrote and researched the story of Omarska and Trnopolje based on the accounts of refugees in Zagreb. The story that created outrage in the Western public and connected the Bosnian War with the Nazi practices of genocide was actually filmed in Budapest. The shooting during the wedding.". According to Boyce. not Sarajevo." he says of Western society. adding that he expected to be criticized for rearranging the facts. the church was not Roman Catholic. Croatia. he said. which caused the Serb nationalists to build a road barricades. characters and sequences.” (Pickle) Frank Cottrell Boyce told Gutman that Welcome to Sarajevo was meant to be a "paean to journalists" and was written as a polemic and a "gross oversimplification" simply because the public did not follow the original events. heavy drinking. had occurred. because a story involving an American journalist gives the film the tag of global story and a greater possibility of success in the American market. frankly. a month before the war. we were all bored with Bosnia. and it sank further and further down the agenda. filmmaking “is a different business" from journalism.” Then he adds: “Because. but so was the bar.

se. though the course of the war." (Gutman) The filmmakers were not interested in dealing with the political complexities of the war. which begins with black and white footage from World War II and show celebratory remarks of the Serb military officer congratulating his soldiers for seizing the besieged city of Vukovar.Then as he comes in to the bus. "This is not a documentary. this is a fictional make the film more engaging. who was shooting the incident. and who.N official and the aid workers. In the background we can hear the Chetnik song “Spremte. The next time we meet a real Serb is when the kids are leaving on the bus to Croatia and they are stopped by a Serbian “Chetnik Leader”. He starts to call out children with Serbian sounding surnames he gets easily angry first by Greg. And when Henderson protests as the Chetnik is trying to take Emira and the baby. He loses his nerve and locks off his machine gun. transporting us from the past to the presence. we get a better glimpse of his long hair. The opening scene.” Chetniks were known to the outside world as Serbian nationalist and monarchist guerrilla fighters during the World War II fighting first against Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia. he threatens to kill everybody on the bus. We see burned houses and the picture is gradually changing from black and white to colour. who is evil and who is not. a chetnik military leader Jovan Babunsky active in the first decades of the 20th century 8 54 . the camera man. Then with tracking shot we approach Vukovar. The original of the song tells about Jovan Babunsky. changed sides and collaborated with Axis forces against Tito’s partisans. spremte četnici8. During all these scenes he is shown as shouting and pulling the hair of Get ready chetniks. It does not seek to ask questions of the origins of the conflict and gives simple answers to questions of responsible. and camouflage uniform. then by the two protesting aid workers. From the opening moments it is clear he cannot speak English ." he said. He takes the baby and leaves the bus. We first see him with the U. A Serb sniper is filmed in the wedding shooting scene.

Serbian soldiers control the boarding of passengers onto the bus. A Serbian soldier shoots them one by one causing the first to die to drag the others after him. Then we see the Chetniks leaving the place shouting. The last time the expression on a Serb solders face is show is during the scene we witness execution of the Bosnian civilians. First we see an old man with two pieces of luggage approaching the bus and hear gunshots on the background. As he is leaving the bus the camera aims at the childrens’ faces and tilts as they are disappearing from the frame to leave no doubt that they are leaving. As the soldier continues with the executions. he continues and the angle becomes even lower until the walls of the bus frame the scene creating a feeling of tension. the picture cuts to the middle shot of his calm and bored face. waving their hands up and down like barbarians who won a fight and now were taking their prey. because the scene is shot in the natural setting with no additional lighting. Five civilians are standing on the edge of a flat place. We see only part of the figures. Even later when the cameraman is told to stop shooting. Then the scene is cut and we see the origins of the shooting.the little girls. Pictures of the Chetnik leader are intercut with the high angle medium shots to close shots of the children sitting on their seats with frightened faces. tied together with a rope. From the background we hear the soldier asking: “Who is the next?” and we see an eye level shot of the executing soldier.. As the civilians are leaving another soldier is spraying on the wall the name Živko in the 55 . The Chetnik leader hands the baby to his soldier and takes a gun from another one in a medium shot. Civilians are ordered onto the bus accompanied by commands to move faster. In another shot the soldier approaches the edge of the flat place and then we are given a birds eye view of the heap of bodies with another soldier finishing the one who is still alive. suggesting he was shot from the position of cameraman sitting on his seat. From the time the Chetnik enters the bus we see him from a slightly low angle.

but always attacking from hidden position with minimal risk of life. where there is peace and safety. for example. The invisibility of the enemy adds up to the terrifying effect of the war. The hairdressing salon is a normal salon not different in any way from those in other parts of the world. We see only burning buildings. or to put it into the perspective of the British and American viewers. the surprising death of Risto. cars on the old Latin Bridge. stay overnight in Serbian held territory. The picture of busy streets full of people. when Henderson is taking a walk in nearby ethnically cleansed and destroyed village while he and the children. because we never know when and death might come as. and corpses left after the shelling or we hear distant gunshots. the director cuts the scene and together with the opening credits we see archive footage of Sarajevo during the 1980s. But probably the most famous picture that public connects with Sarajevo and which appeared during the opening credits is the montage of archive footage from the Olympic Games events. his or her own home. The enemy is never shown fighting face to face. The first flaw in this picture 56 . They just have the bad luck to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Winterbotton allows Bosnian civilians to behave in a manner recognised as normal for European people. “people like us”. unlike the journalists and Bosnian civilians who are risking their lives even in the presumably safest place that one is supposed to have. In most instances the Serbian enemy is invisible. one of the most renowned city sights.Cyrillic script. The opening scene continues in keeping with an atmosphere of ordinariness and normality common to the other parts of the world. The same inscription was seen previously. After Michael Henderson reports from war torn streets of Vukovar and informs us that thousands of refugees fleeing to Bosnia. The image of Bosnia as a familiar and civilized place is established during the opening credits. who were on the bus.

Depiction of Sarjavoo. Harum the cello player. Round characters sharply contrasted with flat. They burn books only because they are forced to do so by the war. rather functional characters of Bosnian Serbs and characters of Bosnian Muslims. have not much space to develop their characters through 57 . In the next shot we see priests in the Catholic Church lighting the candles and preparing for the wedding. he reads books. Because we are already aware of the settings. has his long hair orderly and clean despite the siege. Bosnia and Herzegovina in Welcome To Sarajevo was influenced by the focalization of the narrative. except Risto. The homemade burek increases the feeling of home. However. none. All through the next encounters with him and his friends we are lead to believe in his ordinariness or at least peacefulness associated with the Western ordinary man. Risto Babić had to be introduced to us in this way as an ordinary man with the water tanks escaping the shelling. It was the war that is responsible for deformation of human characters like the ones of the “Svercer” who rob Henderson and Risto as they are on a search for Munira. Unlike the Serb Chetnik. Van Morrison’s song is now accompanied by the sound of shooting rifle and machine guns. The only thing that distinguishes that they are Bosnian Muslim civilians is the fact that they smoke too much in comparison to English or Americans. We are told by Jane Carson that he is educated in England.of normalcy and ordinary life is visible when the songs “The Way Young Lovers do” stops suddenly into silence and cuts to a tracking shot the mother of the bride starting the gas electric generator. which are portrayed as “characters” one can possibly meet in one’s neighbourhood. Flynn presents a picture of a Bosnian Muslim prisoner to the ordinary family. which was predominantly presented as seen through the eyes of a Westerner. and he and his friends speak good English. Emira’s mother. We are definitely thrown into reality when we follow the bride and her company going on to the street and two sudden shots kill bride’s mother.

but all of the characters are Bosnian Muslims/Croats or Bosnian Serbs. Not all movies have characters from Western countries. Will this affect different depiction of the warring sides and the Bosnian settings? 58 .the movie. as in this movie.

He lists unstable Sarajevo microclimate as the main obstacle that forced him to shoot the film on the former Russian army base in Budapest. On their return. there was no united entity to represent. because it depicted the ravaging effects of war on friendship and family. drink beer and dance in a country inn. Croat Vlado Selimovič (Linus Roache) and Serb Slavko Stanić (Vincent Perez). Shot through the Heart Shot through the Heart is based on the true story of a Bosnian soldier.7. written by freelance journalist. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić had declared the border of Republika Srpska only that morning. the airport was damaged and sometimes unusable. They shoot. Shot through the Heart tells the story of two sharpshooters. They represent the Yugoslavians in the shooting at the Olympic Games in Barcelona 1992. John Falk and published in the November issue of Details magazine in 1995. Producer Francine LeFrak commented for St." (Pennington) Only the opening and the closing scene were shot in the city. They are allowed to pass only after Slavko bribes the Bosnian Serb soldier. Nadja (Karianne Henderson). Because of the breakup of the country. Maida (Lia Williams) and their daughter. because. according to David Atwood director of the movie. That weekend Vlado and Slavko decide to spend the weekend together with Vlado’s wife. Louis Post-Dispatch on her choice to base her movie on this article: "It was a true story that needed to be told on screen. they are stopped at the barricades and Bosnian Serb militia. Vlado refuses to present his papers and cannot believe what has happened. 59 . who ask them to present their papers. Nevertheless they buy tickets and prepare to watch the Olympic Games in Barcelona. Vlado Sarzinski.

but Vlado rejects this offer. Vlado is called out to eliminate him. 60 . while his friend remains in Sarajevo and hopes to continue managing his business. where Vlado lives and the next day Leila. He proposes that he and Vlado leave Sarajevo for Vienna for 10 000 Deutsche Marks. He finds him residing in a mountain cottage living in a luxury and peace.The next day unemployed bachelor Slavko is called to join the Serbian army. who is not called to the army and who is married to Muslim Amela. One night. Maida decides to take her daughter and leave for safer part of town in Koševo. because he is now involved in fighting and his family refuses to go without him. Vlado rejects this proposal because he cannot believe the reality. Sarajevo becomes a dangerous place as Serbian forces attack civilians on the streets as well as shelling the buildings where the Muslim population live. He finds that the sniper responsible for deaths of women and children is Slavko and decides to conceal him. Cadets trained by Slavko are then sent to Važno Polje. The film ends with a closing scene in the cemetery where Lejla is properly buried and we see in the following shots tombstones of people who died during the siege. Vlado then joins the Bosnian Army and decides to fight the occupants. From that time the street surrounding Važno Polje are safe. while the inhabitants of Sarajevo have to suffer hunger and their lives are constantly in danger. a Serbian doctor. the suburb. Slavko finishes their friendship and the next day Vlado shoots him. Meanwhile a Serbian sniper is terrorizing the streets surrounding water tanks in the suburbs killing everything in sight. Mišo’s daughter is killed. Slavko calls him again and proposes him that he has the last possible chance to get him and his family out of Sarajevo. Vlado’s house is hit and he escapes to his friend Mišo home. Slavko leaves Sarajevo and assumes responsibility for cadet training.

where Vlado bought tickets to Barcelona. This absence and distrust of police.Despite the fact that the real Sarajevo appears only twice in the movie. telephone communications and water 61 .” The opening scene shows us peaceful life in the bustling city where everybody goes about their business. But then I think it is not about me and my family. The focus shifts to Slavko who. When the travel agency owner explains why he doesn’t report it to the police: “Yes and pay more than pay them“. at the busy market takes a box of fruit from the seller and visits his wife working on the post office. with no working infrastructure or facilities such as electricity. "It's all so confusing in a way. which in a functioning State provide for the security of the inhabitants might serve as the indicator of breaking up of Yugoslavia bearing with it the side effect of disintegration of the existing institutions and could lead to war. No institutions are present to enforce the law as Sijan steals Vlado’s car. Croats and Serbs had lived together peacefully in the country’s capital. as well as some peaceful pictures of the people on the streets." (Pennigton) The opening credits inform us that “In 1992 war broke out in Bosnia." Sarzinsky recreates his experiences during the Los Angeles premiere: "In a way I should be proud. because it is about me and my family. The camera pans through to the Latin Bridge and we follow a streetcar on its route. Until that time Muslims. Filmmakers later present us with the scenes from a war-torn city. some of whom had it a lot worse than I did. None of those pictures seem oriental in anyway and the scenes despite the director’s claims could be easily shot in any other Western city. Sarajevo. The only scene which introduces us to the Balkans is the racketeer Sijan and his offsider as he is takes a bribe from the owner of a travel agency. these settings play an important role in the film. It's about a hundred thousand families. formerly a region of Yugoslavia. Here we are introduced to the place as being the Balkans with poor working state system and corruption. and how we survived this terrible five years.

We see Vlado in the first shots buying vegetables. Slavko was introduced earlier by Vlado. While Vlado is portrayed as the family man. his ideas on the war and the separation of Yugoslavia are quite clear. In the scene when the returning group is stopped by the Republika Srpska border 62 . While Slavko has not decided the question of his female companion to visit the Olympic Games. Vlado in those first shots is not the centre of the screen. he wears a brown jacket and orange sweater and we see him the first time on the market place taken with the eye level angle shot as the camera pans through the crowd. when he describes him to Natasha as a childlike man. Slavko is first introduced to us in the context of the firing range as the camera moves from one firing stand to the other until the camera cuts and we see a close up of two hands in the centre of the shallow focus holding a bullet and performing a trick. saying hello to his wife and buying the tickets for the Olympics. This image of Slavko is strengthened when he finds himself another girl that should come with him to Barcelona. and expresses surprise. never mind three These paramilitary units are later recognized as part of the Bosnian Army. Slavko is on the other hand single and unemployed childlike person. The only institutions providing security for the civilians were the paramilitary organizations organized by people with dubious reputations like Sijan. but we are slowly focused on him as he addresses the vegetable seller and takes from him a crate of vegetables to take on the weekend holiday. the film makers make sure viewers identify Slavko and Serbs as the antagonists of the film. with steady job and his own private business. who does not know what he is going to do in three hours ahead. Vlado is orderly looking man with short hair. The next media shot centres on the little boy’s face and Slavko in a black coat with his dark long hair. when Vlado reminds him that this new girl is already the sixth one. Although very subtle in the beginning.

While watching Radovan Karadžič speaking about the peace. While Vlado believes that once they leave Sarajevo. and he plans to celebrate the news of separation and drinking the best cognac. wants to leave Sarajevo. and to the scriptwriters of Shot Through the Heart . “ But to be just to Slavko. who has married Muslim woman. And it is his daughter that gets killed 63 . but he. as a possible symbol marking the end of their friendship. Later. when Vlado is trying to track the sniper.control. however.. That night Slavko tells Vlado that he found his place in the world: “Vlado: How could you find happiness when you are shooting on your own people? Slavko (whispers): I’ve got my happiness now. a doctor living in Sarajevo. He introduces himself to the officer as Slavko Stanić. gradually Slavko gets brainwashed by his commander and explains his actions as being revenge for and defence of a repetition of the Ustaše terror on the Serbian population. First of them is the case of Mišo. While Sarajevian civilians are living in the poverty and danger. apart from Slavko. He cares about his friend and his family and offers them in two instances escape from the town. unlike Vlado. in the mountain cottage outside Sarajevo. Mišo wants his family to be safe. Slavko lives in the comfort of the mountain cottage without feeling the lack of anything. Serbs. the closing ceremonial of the Olympic Games plays on the TV in the background. Slavko in his own house prepares bullets for the shooting. he takes some money from his friend and negotiates crossing the border. Serb from Banja Luka. He does not commit war crimes. he does not kill Vlado even though he aims at him. they lose everything and show the Serbs they have capitulated. are depicted in two ways. When the two friends meet again. Slavko was not depicted as totally black character.

were advisors during shooting of the film in Sarajevo and Hungary. the first day they were sent to their part of town. On the other hand. recreating a totally convincing milieu on scungy locations in Hungary. This would work even better if the conflict between the two main characters were more developed and the image of Slavko and the Serbs were given more complexity. which is realistic without becoming a docudrama. in the houses they are going to burn as well as mass rape of Bosnian women. the film gives a human touch to the conflicts witnessed in the news and attempts to analyse some of its causes. he uses negative events of the past to incite and support hatred amongst his soldiers. the flat characters who serve the purpose of tyrannizing the Sarajevo population. when he states that: Attwood's direction. One has to agree with Derek Elley from the Variety magazine. Slavko’s Commander was a fanatic who ignores the fact that. They are usually depicted in uniforms with their gun without any trace of individuality. because they function only as a background for our main character and his commander within the Serbian Army. the three ethnic groups once lived together in one of the snipers. Real life characters and the hero of the story himself. The Commander also supports stealing of the valuable items. Filmmakers were able to successfully reconstruct the war torn city and the suffering of its inhabitants. is always tightly focused and often gripping. The other kind of Serb are the soldiers. 64 . Moreover. His soldiers are depicted as soulless people.

in Savior directed by Peter Antonijević the Bosnian war is depicted from the point of view of a Western mercenary serving in the Army of Republic Srpska. Bored with his work for French legion. he storms into the next mosque slaughtering several worshippers inside. Joshua. Oliver Stone and his production company were involved as co-producers. where he is to protect a bridge from the soldiers of Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Savior The films dealt so far offered more or less clear cut line between the protagonists and antagonists. who was a photographer assistant in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1993 and 1995. After the funeral of his family. which does not fulfil him anymore. successfully 65 .8. which was part of Yugoslavia at that time. The main protagonist of the movie is Johsua Rose/Guy (Dennis Quaid) who looses his wife (Nastasija Kinski) and a child in front of American Embassy in Paris in a bomb attack. In order to avoid arrest they both join the French Foreign Legion. In 1992 he moved to Hollywood and was offered a job directing the movie Savior written by Robert Orr. He is assigned to a sniper position. now Guy. His friend Peter (Stellan Skarsgård) follows him and saves his life when he shoots one of the surviving worshippers from the mosque who tries to kill him. The previous films were shot from the Muslim or Croat point of view. he is looking for "a real war for real cause" and becomes a mercenary in the service of Army of Republika Srpska. Peter or Predrag Antonijević was born in the Serbian town of Niš and between 1981 and 1991 directed several films and TV series in the former Yugoslavia. The film was shot in Montreal and Montenegro. In 1991 he participated in demonstrations against the Serbian leader Slobodan Milošević and spent two months in the solitary confinement. presumably committed by Islamist terrorists.

a small girl approaches Peter who offers her candy. even though Guy points out that she has been probably raped. however. which forces her into premature labour. too.eliminates the soldiers and then shoots a ten year old boy who is chasing a goat without the slightest sense of emotion. the very moment his head sees the light of the world. In the car Goran is abusive towards Vera for becoming pregnant with Bosnian Muslim Army Soldier. Guy enters one Muslim house where he sees an old lady murmuring words he cannot understand and sees dead bodies beside the bed and a sleeping child in the wardrobe. Meanwhile Guy was asked by Goran (Sergej Trifunović) his co-soldier to “chase the rats” on the Muslim side of town. they have to hide from a helicopter attack. The Serbian tormentor aims at the Mother with a loaded gun ready to shoot the new born baby. While leaving. A moment later. Later they take part in the prisoner exchange with the Bosnian Muslim forces. but he ignores the threats and Guy shoots him. Just before that incident Goran brags in front of him how he had raped the Bosnian Muslim women they were returning as part of the prisoner exchange. When they reach a tunnel. Goran stops the car and starts to kick Vera as she is lying on the ground. claiming that Serbian women would rather die than be raped. comes close and throws a hand grenade into his post. When he shows her the baby she rejects it and attempts to kill herself with Guy’s gun before he manages to stop her. 66 . An American helps Vera to deliver her baby. Goran takes her in his car to her village.. The girl. Guy returns to the Muslim house and he finds both baby and the old lady have been killed by falling rubble. Guy threatens Goran to shoot him if he doesn’t stop. where he probably comes from. Goran cuts off the old woman’s finger to steal her ring and leaves her to bleed to death. One of the prisoners is Bosnian Serb woman Vera (Nataša Minković). visibly in the late stage of pregnancy.

N. As they travel. One of the soldiers proceeds to kill several of them with the sledgehammer. Vera’s father and her brother are urged by Goran’s family to pursue Guy and Vera and kill Goran’s murderer for the sake of family honour. Meanwhile Goran’s body is found in the tunnel and Guy is suspected to have killed him. while Vera goes to the town to find a bus. When they reach the small port. Guy remains with the baby resting in the half sank boat. in Croatia. where Guy and the baby are hiding. When they ran out of petrol. They catch up with them in an old farm. Vera’s father wants to kill him. refugee camp in Bileća. they stop at the cottage near the lake and accept the hospitality of an elderly couple. Vera’s father offers his daughter gun so she could commit suicide now. The soldiers take their prisoners to the waterfront. Those who are still alive are consequently shot dead by 67 . where they wait for the bus to Split. including Vera. Vera continues to reject the baby as well as she refuses to communicate with Guy.N and Red Cross headquarters for the Former Yugoslavia is. The couple give Vera and Guy new clothes and a boat to cross the lake to get closer to the town. a Croatian man and his Serbian wife whose children died during the war. where they stop to get the milk for baby. They watch from far away as Vera’s family and other villagers were rounded up lead away by Muslim fighters and later shot. Vera tells her father that she tried to kill herself but she was not allowed to do so. When the father is about to shoot his daughter. However Vera is captured along with the other civilians by the Croatian Defence Council soldiers. she is rejected by her family because of the shame felt by her father. because she says she has a child now. but she refuses to do so. Guy decides to head to Split. Guy interferers and gets injured. Guy decides to take them both to the U. but Vera places herself in front of him and her father backs down and allows them to leave. The couple return to Vera’s village to find it devastated after supposed enemy attack.Once they arrive in Vera’s village. where the U.

Probably the most confusing fact for Americans is that {this war} is not some enemy coming from somewhere attacking you. all of a sudden. almost smothering her in the process. Guy witnesses the slaughter. where he throws his serviceman’s identity card and a gun into the water and collapses on a bench. I grew up in a family where we didn't make any difference between who is Serb and who is Muslim. A woman who was on the bus with him. he draws Croats’ attention and their lives are put in danger. things would be the same no more. which does not offer a simple picture of two warring sides.the firing squad. Peter M Nicols observed that Antonijević keeps the identity of Serbians. but does nothing. It is your neighbour next door walking to your doorstep and slitting your throat. Then one day. He makes his way on to a bus that goes to Split and leaves the baby on a seat of abandoned Red Cross vehicle. . saw him place the baby into the Red Cross car. Peter Antonijević in an interview for Susan King from Los Angeles Times during the film premiere commented on the film and the war in the following way: “Probably {the war} is the most devastating thing that happened in my life.” This point of view is reflected in the film. one is good and the other evil. because he does not want to give himself and baby away. She approaches him with the girl and asks him if the baby is his. Guy answers affirmatively and the lady promises to take them to hospital. 68 . of who belongs to which ethnic group. I woke up one day and the world I knew and the country I knew and liked was gone and . . He leaves her with the name tag Vera and goes to the pier. throughout families even. Croatians and Muslims deliberately vague. there was a big division throughout the country. While trying to prevent the baby from crying.

This man that I play. And this gives him an arc to come back from--this little Muslim baby becomes his Savior.In the film they are virtually interchangeable. You could say he is the baby's Savior. he is someone who is dead spiritually and emotionally at the beginning of the film because of what happened to him. We always look for good in people as well as a dark side. but also a peculiar mind set where the film and its characters re-enforces the notion of the Balkans as a beautiful. He has this great hatred toward Muslims in particular. War does terrible things to people and to people's minds. The film follows the familiar pattern of man from the West transformed by his experience in the Balkans. shooting the film in the neighbouring Yugoslavian republic of Montenegro. What we are addressing really is people's hatreds. Dennis Quaid further explains it: “We made an anti-war film. We never say {in the film} there is black and a white. the past and its mythology is still present in the customs and thinking of people. “(King) Probably this non-simplistic point of view makes film critic Kevin Thomas think that the film is hard to follow for an American audience. their prejudices. but the Muslim baby actually becomes his Savior. This creates in the movie not only picturesque backdrop . and how we are conditioned by those prejudices without really even knowing it sometimes. 69 . This time filmmakers decided to depart from the besieged city of Sarajevo and visit the Bosnian countryside. with each group slaughtering the others so routinely it hardly seems to matter who is who. Pictures of a mystical and sparsely inhabited region of Bosnian (Montenegrin) contrasts with the ravaged city of Sarajevo as well as with the war torn unspecified city in the Savior. but extremely dangerous place where. a image found in earlier works on the region and its people. which we are all guilty of on one level or another.

Firstly. In the first scene when Guy comes to Bosnia. there is the notion. The mountains form a kind of escape from the social norms and mores of the village. The friendliness and hospitality shown to the couple are part of the social norm of the inhabitants of the Balkan countryside.the viewer. Public opinion and honour as forms of social control are evidently at work when villagers urge Goran’s father and his son to avenge the murder of Goran. Even though Vera is rejected by her father. This notion of twisted chivalry and the patriarchal authority is visible even when he attempts to force Vera to commit suicide. We learn about his existence from the same type of POV shots seen previously when Guy was killing soldiers. It is described in the western literature as well as in the Savior. The filmmakers tried to portray both the good and the bad that can be found in all people. this freedom has a high price . This notion and fear of condemnation by the neighbours leads Vera’s father to cast his daughter away. When he sees Vera.the feeling of insecurity caused by not knowing if the next human encountered would be the enemy army marching with captured civilians or a friendly couple. In any case. who chases his goat at the same place as the soldiers. he reminds Vera of her failure as a good Serbian woman. When the sniper kills the boy in the same manner he 70 . we see a POV shot of a Muslim soldier in green beret and gun. the elderly couple take good care of the travellers without any mention of their nationality or whereabouts. The next Bosnian we see is a ten years old boy. of family honour. almost invisible. Antonijević enforced this notion when he puts the escaping couple in jeep without roof closely resembling a scene in an American road movie. who obviously comes from the same village or region as he does. Savior is a complex anti-war film. Goran states during of prisoner exchange scene that a Serbian woman would rather kill herself than allowing herself to be raped by any Serb or Croat. regardless of nationality. behind the barricades and pointing at us .

The scene might work as an apology for Guy’s deed in killing the boy but could equally be seen to shed condemnation on the Bosnian Muslims who recruited children to commit a suicide attacks. However the parallel scene where another ten year old approaches Serbian positions and throws a hand grenade also depicts the dehumanizing effect from an alternate point of view. as he is not going to start shooting kids. woman’s appearance has no other distinguishing features that indicate nationality. The next time when they take 71 . are Mujahidin. With the exception of the scarf on woman’s head. Set of alternation close-ups of Guy with his eye on a gun sight and a young girl creates feeling that the whole incident is seen through Guy’s eyes. Camera then cuts to low angle medium shot of guy holding a gun and later back on the long medium angle shot of woman lying on a bed still crumpling the plum. The scarf was a symbol used to identify women at the prisoner’s exchange as Muslim. We encounter them twice. Muslim soldiers are known for their green berets and green scarves tied around their heads. As the camera pans down to dead young couple we understand the reason of her distress. She slowly approaches Peter who offers her chewing gun. where he is eliminating one of them after another like a hero of a computer game. The old Muslim woman in the close up is anxiously crumpling a big yellow plum murmuring words which do not make sense.killed the soldiers. First time. as later find. This is also true of the appearance of the young couple. On the other hand the nature of civilians who had to suffer the Serbian raids is not contested. Peter tells Guy that he does not want to respect the Captains orders. the holy warriors for Islam. Nor does the flat. in the first of Guy’s scenes in Bosnia. A dark girl without a smile and with her hand behind her throws the hand grenade into Peter’s post. we are lead to sense of the dehumanizing effect of war.

a civilian. It is hard to say if the Muslims soldiers behave in the film in more humane way than their counterparts from other nations. it is the fanatic Mujahidin with green scarf.prisoners from Vera’s village. the smoke rising from the place where it used to be and the couple crossing the village near an Orthodox priest being hung on a rope. On the one hand. On the other hand. The surreal looking scene when Croatian Defence Army Forces massacre civilians begins when a Croatian army officer gets out of a red jeep. pale skin and blue eyes. who helps the couple and the young woman from the bus. When camera focuses on the Muslim soldiers. but Orthodox priests and old people. they point guns at them and swear. The officer looks like embodiment of the member of perfect race in the Nazi Third Reich with blond hair. who as the film suggests but does not say explicitly. but we see that if a prisoner slows down or stops or tries to escape . We see the consequences of the massacre in the Serbian village. his or her captors do not hesitate to enforce the authority with the help of weapons. because they were not depicted as the completely innocent people. Antonijević does not spare either Croats from committing atrocities and crimes against humanity. As they lead prisoners up on the hill. there is the one and only scene when we see the Croatian army. We see them from both Vera’s and Guy’s point of view. It is not stated where Bosnian Muslim soldiers want to take their prisoners. where Guy and the 72 . he looks right and the boat comes into view. are to be blamed for the bomb attack which killed his family and the rape of Vera by a Muslim soldier. there is an elderly Croat. These facts definitely do not create an impression that the film is somehow sympathetic toward Muslims in general. One should add to this depiction the fact that Guy is drawn to Bosnia because of his hatred toward the Muslims. The soldier first faces the camera and then walks around a car. Serbian prisoners in this scene are not only military personnel. male and female. in a medium shot we see the outline of the army vehicle and the trees.

. The camera then returns to the medium shot of the soldier. In the next shot the civilians are stood out in the shore of the lake and then camera emphasizes an extremely strong looking man with black scarf around his head and no expression on his face. He takes out the shaving foam and as soon as he starts to shave. We are later shown the Croatian officer shaving himself and the camera jumps again to Guy and the baby.child hide. Shallow focus on the “iron man” in the foreground and the blurry motionless silhouettes of other Croatian soldiers contrasts with the following close up of young blond civilian with blue eyes and soft facial features. the Croatian soldier finishes his shaving and soldiers in the line start to shooting indiscriminately killing every civilian who remains alive. in the same kind of medium shot. camera moves to the POV shot from Guy’s perspective. Some of the defenceless civilians start to pray while those who are in line move farther away towards the water. Strong man gestures him to come closer and. There is a positive depiction of Serbian people and. to certain extent. an explanation of the reasons for the atrocities. witnessing the Croatian soldiers and the civilians on the bus. In the following scenes. Then the man with the huge sledge hammer is shown to passionately kill the civilians. On the other hand we also participate in a critique of the Serbian official ideology and the regime of Slobodan 73 . Croat soldiers and prisoners preparing for the slaughter. who had started to sing a lullaby. Behind him stands another soldier with lighter uniform with the same kind of black scarf carrying a set of heavy sledgehammers. takes the smaller sledge hammer and hits the young man on the head. who receives a cosmetic box from someone sitting in the car. Then the camera zooms in shows the reflection of the soldier’s emotionless expression in the side view mirror. The primary attention in this film is dedicated to Bosnian Serbs. After he kills Vera. The fact that Guy joins the Army of Republika Serpska determines that the audience will experience the war from the Serbian point of view.

Vera’s brother does not insist on killing his sister. Goran brutally tortures helpless old woman while he was “chasing the rats” and looting for treasures. however. which more often than not does not reflect reality. These words. Antonijević. quite the opposite. whom Goran considered as whores. This kind of social control and patriarchal dominance works in two instances. unlike the other Muslim or Croat woman. first of all. Goran. only this time it is a Bosnian Serb. It could be said that Bosnian and Croat atrocities counterbalance or maybe excuse Serbian brutality.Milošević. when Vera leaves without a word when she is cast away from the family. gives them more complex characteristics. One such case was the myth of Serb woman who would rather die than be raped by Muslim or Croats. Breaking the unwritten rule dictated by the myth leads to dishonouring of the whole family. the whole society lives inside the past and mythology. At this point he tells Guy that Americans would not like a Serbian student in Beverly Hills. and he was wondering why Guy came to fight for them. War brutality is committed only by Goran of who even the Serbs think is a maniac. Yugoslav is westernized. And while Serbian soldiers like Goran are brutal. when the young girl throws a hand grenade into the Serbian post and kills Peter. himself a Serb. and when Vera’s father is addressed by the elder of 74 . like respecting your father or elderly of the village without objection. The filmmakers suggest the explanation of why Guy kills the ten years old Muslim boy. he talks their father into not killing her. Like the Bosnian Muslim teenager in Behind Enemy Lines. who grows sideburns like Luke Perry in Beverly Hills 90210 TV show. sounds quite ironic when we realize that in the previous scene. Being a good Serb incorporates another set of rules. He tells us and Guy that the west sees them as bad people while the Serbs are only fighting for their land that is all. While the previous filmmakers often reduced the Serbian element to cruel and bloodthirsty killing machines who gun down the citizens from the safety and comfort of their shelters..

According to the filmmakers this medieval notion of honour and hatred extends to fanaticism legitimised by the Orthodox Church.” We saw in our analysis that Antonijević was quite able to achieve this. but this should not disqualify them from being treated as civilized people. At the moment when Goran puts the tied Muslim girl in the car he asks the old priest to bless “that saint relationship. He explains: “We never say {in the film} there is black and white. During the prisoner’s exchange. that they are usually darker.the village informing him about his daughter involvement in Goran’s death and he decides to clear the family reputation and avenge the Serbian soldier. We always look for good in people as well as a dark side.” Serbs are usually portrayed as Soldiers. sometimes even curly. Younger women. Critics. Quaid emphasized in the interview with Suzanne King that they had Serbs and Muslims working on a film and that everyone in the crew was in some way affected by the war. Nicols). the only difference was that they lacked any ornaments. but unlike the Serb soldiers in other movies they are ordinary looking people you might meet in the street of any western city. who saw the Savior. It is true. and Serbian women are usually older ladies. However the filmgoers 75 . There is nothing particular odd about them. (Yates) or that all sides could be blamed for violence (Thomas. Serbian men are usually depicted as soldiers or priests. with black hair. They all wear khaki uniforms except the village elder whose outfit is black jacket and a green beret that enforces the notion of his authority. Guy and Goran observe an Orthodox priest giving blessings to the old women. Guy silently grinds out: “He preaches and Goran does the dirty work. Vera’s mother and the old woman from the lake wore the headscarves too like the Muslim women. were horrified by its brutality and noticed that the film did not take sides in the conflict. They wanted to make an anti-war movie addressing people prejudices and hatreds.” And he makes the symbolic cross. are simply missing.

did not appreciate it and according to Box Office Mojo. 76 . Savior was a commercial failure.

However witnessing the impact of the war on young children changes his perception of neutrality and he becomes involved in a war and decides to act. Behind Enemy Lines and Savior are presented from the perspective of Westerner coming to Balkans. From the beginning. (Iordanova (58) In Welcome to Sarajevo it is a British journalist. Firstly. Bosnia became once again the powder keg threatening European and World stability. Shot Through the Heart. Unlike the Third World wars in Asia. three of the movies. Savior and Behind Enemy Lines have in common and how do they differ in their representation of the images of the Bosnian war and Balkan region? It must be said that there is no single unifying pattern present in all the films. The Yugoslavian conflicts were ascribed either as a symptom of the failing communist regimes in the Eastern Europe.9. professional and veteran. the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina attracted the western worlds attention. or as the results of ethnic hatreds. Western media started to link the events occurring at the end of the twentieth century with the two Bosnian wars. What do the four films analysed films Welcome to Sarajevo. These stories usually follow a travelogue structure which has been the dominant genre describing the Balkan countries. Africa or Latin America. who under the influence of the extraordinary events is transformed. for whom the conflict in Bosnia was not the first one. Conclusion The Bosnian War occurring after World War 11 close to the centre of Europe was a war the Western world could most closely identify with. It could simply have been a continuation of the tension between the democratic powers of the States that wanted to secede from the former Yugoslavia or the Serbian ambition to create a Greater Serbia. This film is also about the experience of 77 . Welcome to Sarajevo. which might have caused more casualties and be more brutal. Three of the films follow a common narrative pattern but the fourth does not.

Two of the movies. Welcome to Sarajevo and Shot Through the Heart. which could be seen in any European city. it is Lt. because its narrative develops around the two local men from different warring sites without any westerners to change. while Behind Enemy Lines and Savior are set in the Bosnian countryside. Sarajevo before the war is presented as bustling European city with no traces of the Oriental exoticism. According to the filmmakers. The most important issue is the pride of being an American standing for justice against the entire world.. no matter the personal consequences. Shot Through the Heart fails to fall into this category. there is nothing in the setting to accentuate the Islam or the Semi-Oriental side of the city. In Behind Enemy Lines. but we do not hear Muslims calling for prayer. Pre-war life in Sarajevo is presented through images. changes from a hard hearted soldier capable of killing a small boy to the protector of Vera’s baby. We see Mosques. Chris Burnett. a bored troublemaker who finds himself witnessing the massacre of innocent people which prompt him and his aging commander to act in the face of such injustice with a sense of responsibility and patriotism and the feeling to act out when seeing injustice and suffering of the powerless people despite the fact that they might break rules and risk the peace process and lives of many civilians only to save one man. Blocks of apartments. It needs to be said that these two films focused on the Bosnian Muslims and their conflict with the Bosnian Serbs. busy roads and people relaxing either in the ski resort during the winter or 78 . Taking care of a baby has a humanising effect on Guy in the film Saviour. who sites the action in the city of Sarajevo. The American mercenary serving in Army of Republika Srpska. their work is meant to be a homage to the city and its inhabitants. all of whom suffered during the four years of the siege of the city. are set in Sarajevo.many journalists serving in the war who begin to sympathize with one or the other warring sides.

in the park. What make the viewer realize that the films are going to be set in Sarajevo is the shots of the monuments such as Latin Bridge or probably even stronger association of the Olympic Games, which was used in Welcome to Sarajevo. The rural settings, on the other hand, represent the opposite of the civilized European city- hostile, empty deserted spaces. Only the evil Serbian forces are positioned on the hills from where they shelled the city and its inhabitants. In Welcome to Sarajevo, it is the long haired wild looking Serbian Chetnik who stops the bus as they travel through the Bosnian country. In Shot through the Heart, Slavko’s bestial character is fully revealed in the mountain cottage in the woods, outside of the city. The two remaining films, Behind Enemy Lines and Savior are set in rural Bosnia. John Moore in Behind Enemy Lines uses deserted, wild and hostile Bosnian (in fact Slovak) countryside to emphasize the dangers of the enemy territory. The dark, cold colours of the rural setting complement dark colours and absence of light in the shots of the Serbian headquarters. Brown, green colour and cold bluish tones prevail in Saviour as well. In this case the countryside is depicted as a dangerous place where not only the forces of nature, but predominantly soldiers from all warring sides might attack at any moment. Nevertheless the rural landscape is also a place of exile. This is where Vera goes after she is rejected by her family for transgressing the unwritten medieval like warrior code of racial purity. One could say that the use of the setting creates the contrast between the civilized modern, European city and the tribal, ancient, dangerous, mysterious and backward countryside. Thus, the war was understood in the Balkanist way as the interface of the Oriental and irrational and the highly modern, progressive and rational Western civilization. With the exception of Savior directed by the Serbian born director Predrag Antonijević, the films showed clear cut distinction between the good side of Bosnian

Muslims and the evil side of Bosnian Serbs. According to filmmakers, the Bosnian Croats, if they took part in this war, took part only during the opening credits. This characterization is closely linked to the settings where the two aspects of the narrative coincide. The films tend to depict one identity and one nationality for its characters. Only in Shot Through the Heart is the issue of multiple loyalties addressed. Here the character of doctor Mišo, a Serb, has a Muslim wife Amela and Vlado, claims to be a Yugoslav. In this case both characters stand on the side of peace and civilization. Antonijević in Savior reverses distinction of protagonists and antagonists. When he takes side of the Serbs, he is trying to apologize and explain some of the war crimes by showing the similar crimes committed by the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats. Equally, the mixed marriage family and the Old Croatian man verbally expresses the anti-war message. An analysis of the individual characters that represent the warring parties in the films could prove helpful in understanding the images of the Balkan region presented in the films. Bosnian Serbs are often presented as antagonists in all of the stories including the apologetic . One can agree with Tomislav Z. Longinovic, who found the images of Serbs in the media during the Yugoslavian Wars similar to the images of cruel gothic vampires. According to Longinovic: “Written between quotes and with a lowercase initial letter, the noun defining the largest Balkan nation demotes ‘the serbs’ from a proper name to the media incarnation of evil.” (48) Maya Miskovic in her analysis of Behind Enemy Lines and Harrison’s Flowers found that the Serbs were reduced to murderous, dark villains with strong foreign accents. (450) In the analysed films, they often did not speak English. With their long dark hair blowing in the wind, like Slavko in Shot through the Heart and Chetnik in Welcome to Sarajevo, they perfectly fit the blood-thirsty savage stereotype. In most of the films Serbs are reduced

to flat characters, whose main purpose is to serve as antagonists, who kill innocent civilians. Maybe the only exception is Slavko Stanić in Shot through the Heart. Slavko is a more rounded character, who fights an internal conflict between his belief in the official nationalist ideology, his conscience and his friendship with Vlado. While the history of this friendship is explained, the origin of Slavko’s nationalism is not clear. Only a few clues are provided during the border control scene. This demonstration of nationalism is not complete, as it may be interpreted as a trick to pass the guards. Only in the scene where Slavko prepares bullets while watching Radovan Karadžić speech does it become clearer where his loyalties lie. Even in Saviour, seemingly a pro Serbian movie, the Serbs are depicted as dark people with black hair, and in the case of Vera’s father and brother even curly. We see them as cruel warriors like Goran, heartless fathers or revenge seeking patriarch. Serbian women are reduced to the role of mothers and the characters adapt to or/and display this role. Another depiction of Serbs is through their implied presence, such as in Welcome to Sarajevo, where we encounter them most often as invisible snipers, killing and wounding civilians. The ethnicity of the nameless civilians is not explicit. They could be Croat or Muslim. In Welcome to Sarajevo, Shot Through the Heart and Behind Enemy Lines, they are just civilians. They are portrayed as civilized, semi-Europeanized people who fell victim to the war. In Saviour we see clear a distinction between the Croat and Muslim soldiers and civilians. In reality there is no physical difference between the three ethnic groups as well as no language difference. Antonijević in order to differentiate them used the uniforms, scarves and hair colour evoking the notion of the past. Bosnian Muslim soldiers wearing green scarves were introduced as Mujahedeen, in a Holy War against the enemies of Islam. Croatian officer resembled the ideal Nazi type of man, blond with


Holocaust. It is questionable why Bosnia and the individual sides involved in the conflict were depicted the way they were. colonialism. Zlatan Longinović claims that Western media depicted the Serbian president Slobodan Milošević as Hitler and “Serbs” as incarnation of vampires. religious and ethnic cleansing within the territories of the liberal democratic states as the aberration of an otherwise civilized and rational West while atrocities in the former Yugoslavia is explained either by the culture of wars or the spurious notion of the Balkan mentality. while the other nations were lucky to escape eyes alluding to the Ustaše regime from the World War II9. The difference is in the origin and belonging to certain ethnic.53) However they were only to a lesser account the realization of the Balkan paradigm. who embody darkness. In contrast. Western Europe or United States. World Wars. because of their religious affiliation with Orthodoxy. (48 . the Balkan people are viewed as the members of a white race of the lesser value. Miskovic contrasts European history of nationalism. (Miskovic 446) Racial interpretation based on the skin colour is not applicable here. mystery. Great contribution of the article was setting different views that each warring side had about the other into the Orientalist discourse. One explanation is suggested by Todorova. modern. Milica Bakic-Hayden in her article “Nesting Orientalism: The Case of Former Yugoslavia” depicts how the East-West dichotomy and the notion of Orientalism is present not only within the East-West but also in the Balkan itself. religious group and the region itself. wildness. and “cultured” West. especially the Serbs as the “others” within a scale of whiteness. 9 82 . because there is only small difference between the “white” people from the Balkans. the city dwellers from the other two nationalities symbolized the civilized. Although there is no visible difference between the people from the West and from the Balkans. Miskovic or Goldsworthy about Balkanism and positioning of the Balakan people. but were also backward. In conclusion it is possible to say that all the analysed films presented Serbs as the savages. conquest. cruel and violent Orientals.

(25) Steve Neale points out that within popular culture. This reduction is manifested both in the form of generic convention. war films and police procedural thrillers often mark their appeal by drawing on and quoting “authentic” and discourse. Yet expectation of this cultural plausibility is transgressed by the requirement of the generic codes and its variations. iconography. Regimes of verisimilitude vary from genre to genre and as such entails norms. Thomas Schatz demonstrates this reduction of the complex 83 . Gangster films. genres always exceed a group of films or texts He emphasizes the importance of advertisements. archival documents and so on (Neale 159). Neither equates to any direct sense of reality or the truth (Neale 158). artefacts and texts such as maps. She states that film genres are ways of grouping films by style and story. reviews and so on. Tzvetan Todorov notes that there are two broad types of verisimilitude applicable to generic representations: generic plausibility and a broader social or cultural verisimilitude. the notion propriety and of what is appropriate and therefore probable (or probable and therefore appropriate) (158). rules and laws. which involves reductions of reality to a certain degree. Certain genres appeal more directly and consistently to the cultural expectations. setting and character type casting.Another possible interpretation of having the national or ethnic and religious stereotypes in the films lies in the genre theory and the economic nature of the film industry as such. preparing viewers expectations even before they see the film by promoting its generic image (Grant 8) According to Neale different genres entail various regimes of verisimilitude. memoirs. When Sarah Berry-Flint speaks about genres she begins by mentioning the popular usage of the term among the public. publicity photos and studio stills. a “genre film” is one that can be easily categorized with reference to a culturally familiar rubric. newspaper headlines. Genres offer prospective consumers a way to choose between films and help indicate the kind of audience for whom a particular movie was made.

evolved. which despite describing the same period from roughly 1840 to 1900. Similarly Philippa Gates in 84 . While the World War I and the Vietnam War films tend to emphasize the futility. the World War I. in the universal and the particular. the Korean War and the War in Vietnam. when the wild untamed nature and the American west was not considered as the frontier. looks at the time from different perspectives. (Grant 30 . (Grant 31) Yet these genre conventions are not stable and evolve with the change of the main discourses. War films finally are known for interest and sometimes involvement (or interference) it attracts from the national governments and its implication in propaganda efforts (Langford 107 . the genre with its mythology transformed and was absorbed to science fiction where the infinite universe plays the role of the frontier and modern technology is one of the tools to conquer it. arising from the cumulative shared cultural experience of different conflicts and their embedded politics. War films also exercise their capacity to structure popular memory and hence rewrite history. Stagecoach (1939) is about the depression era as Little Big Man (1970) is about the Vietnam War. elicit unusually direct effects in the shifting: tenor. iconography and generic verisimilitudes of war films (107).reality into the set of binary opposition as it appears in western movies and its depiction of fight between the “black hats” versus “white hats”. World War II movies tend to emphasize the “positive” values of valour. Grant uses as an example the evolution of western. patriotism and purposeful sacrifice. brutality and suffering of war.108). the World War II.31) According to Barry Langford changing perceptions of particular wars and of war itself. In his book Film Genre: Hollywood and Beyond he gives a short survey of how the of the treatment of the major conflicts in the twentieth century. Later. Similarly different national experience of conflicts and victory or defeat guarantee a remarkable dissimilarity in generic conventions the wars are rendered in different national cinemas.

when they made fun of authority figures like comedies of Charlie Chaplin. the enemy experiences all the risk and damage. Heroes often disobey their order in order to do the right thing. The new war movies are characteristic of the moral certitude and the sense of brotherhood of soldiers with the right man in command.her article describing development of the war//combat film genre in the last two decades of the 20th century talks about the shift from realistic war films. Subjective accounts of the war saves its creators from politics and the question why should Americans be or not be there. (205-206) To put it in other words: “Since films must attract large audiences. affluence and love and passion on one hand. one has to take into account the nature of American film. where war is described as a hell and Americans such as victims to highly patriotic films idealizing GIs and their desire to do the right thing. The previous victimisation is overcome by American superiority. they needed to 85 . while the U. and the hero who fights them is the idealistic youth. or “promoted” promiscuity as romantic films and melodramas. There are no political wars. the men are fighting there for right reason . (205) he further sees the development of the film genre and their role in the “acculturation” of the movie-going masses as the films were on one hand selling the American dream of wealth.S. Film studios were repeating and reproducing the most successful formulas and types of films.308). (Gates 297. Its main attempt was and still is to attract audiences to its product. has been controlled since the beginning by the entertainment industry rather than the institution of education or an art form. experience only minimum causalities. Now through technology and satellite surveillance. but the moral one. while on the other hand they had also subversive and negative effect. When one considers the nature of the film as part of the popular culture. which according to Douglas Kellner. regardless of consequences. It does not matter whether the conflict is right or wrong.

analysing the connection between Hollywood film and US society requires a multidimensional film criticism that situates its object within the context of the social milieu within which it is produced and received. and social concerns. its codes and formulas.resonate to audiences’ dreams. embedded in social struggles. (213) In order to examine the production of the films about the Balkan War one would need material dealing with the production of these films in particular. which allowed making of more diverse and socially critical films. which involves more varied system of financing. Closing credits of Welcome to Sarajevo also 86 . he mentions changed mode of productions.” at that time still part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. with film articulating social discourses. however this information usually only to serve the purpose to sell the film and one definitely needs more to uncover the mode of production which influenced the final form of films. but when he describes the new condition that came into existence in the 1970s. fears. (Kellner 213 . and saturated with social meanings (Kellner and Ryan 1988) Thus. one needs insight into the production system. One can obtain some information about film production from the articles published in the daily press. and the complex interaction of film and society. hadn’t it received “unending support and cooperation” from the government of the Republic of Montenegro. We might ask the question if for example Saviour would treat the three Yugoslav nationalities differently. conflicts. and ideologies.217) As Douglas Kellner further states: So to fully understand Hollywood film. and thus inevitably reflected social mores. New technology and new means of film distributions as well as fragmentation of audience helped the spread of greater variety of films and also rise of popularity for independent films in the 1980s.” (Kellner 206) Kellner uttered these words in connection to the studio era of the Hollywood production.

then recurs several times in the middle. Familiarity as one of the production values exists also in the film industry often demonstrated on the example of film genres. with resolution at the end” (Proferes 12). At the same time. Ministry of Defence? We cannot tell for sure because we have no exact information on if and how the official institutions interfered with the creative process. It is probably that such a venture is proceeded by a market research or at least the idea is pitched to a producer who things he or she knows the tastes of their audiences. there are many factors influencing the possible success of movie. siege of Sarajevo. one has to admits the fact that the film is a commodity and in the ideal case should at least return the costs invested in its production. would have the plot of Behind Enemy Line be different had it not received assistance from the U. . We can suppose that if movie-goers choose to see a movie set during the Bosnian War they come to the movie theatre with a expectation concerning the form of the movie as well as its topic. the familiar image is “planted” somewhere in the beginning of a scene. and it is a familiarity.S. especially in scenes that are fragmented into many shots or involve many participants. stable picture that “glues” together scattered imagery. If the American and Western European public was bombarded with the news stories about ethnic cleansing. . And still. It suggests that a news story has a stronger impact if the target audience is already familiar with the topic or the actors. Anyway. The familiar image structure provides symmetry in the form of a recurrent. .contain thanks to the Presidency of Canton Sarajevo as well as the IFOR units stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Normally. breadlines 87 . One of the textbooks for future directors explains: “We know that cinema thrives on repetition and symmetries. One in particular might affect the form of the above discussed movies describing the Bosnian War.

systematic rape of women and other atrocities committed predominantly by Serbs.massacres. it is them. their reception and reaction to the media products is influenced by various factors. where these familiar images were still vividly present in the collective memory. who decide what media products they want to consume. It is probable that American audience see the films differently than audience in Slovakia or people from the Former Yugoslavia. it is natural that these pictures might find its way in the consequent films about the war. when drawing a conclusion from depiction of the Bosnian War in Behind Enemy Lines. Welcome to Sarajevo. As Angelina Jolie in her movie In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011) demonstrates. they still are. where and in what way. internment camps. and ordinary movie goer. because culture also plays an important role in the way we receive and decode visual images (Monaco 152) Therefore the finding we presented in this work are valid only into certain extent and might serve as the base for the large scale audience research which might show completely different results. 88 . Last but not least. Second of all. especially if these films were made in a short time after the end of a conflict. First of all. who could be injected with the media utterances and behave accordingly. who experienced the conflict only through mass media. Stuart Hall with his article Encoding-Decoding drew attention on the audience and its reception of the media message. Media receivers are not the powerless mass. Savior and Shot Through The Heart mention should be made the fact that whatever has been written might be perceived differently by the audience. It is certain that Welcome to Sarajevo was seen differently by a former war correspondent Roy Gutman.

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jak se vyvíjel celý obraz regionu v americké a britské literatuře. Filmy věnované bosenské válce zobrazují Sarajevo jako bývalé rušné a kosmopolitní město. David Atwood a Shot Through the Heart (1998) a film Predraga Antonijeviće Savior (1998). filmu a masových mediích už od dob osvícenství. filmu a masových mediích. průběhu. ale nebezpečný. Bosenští Srbové jsou zobrazeni jako inherentně nacionalističtí. Balkán byl ve všech filmech představován jako most mezi civilizací Orientu a Západem. Druhá část je už konkrétní analýzou filmů. který se chová i vypadá jako lidé žijící v Západních zemích. První část diplomové práce předkládá stručný přehled příčin. Analyzoval jsem filmy: John Moore a jeho Behind Enemy Lines (2001). žijící v minulosti. Ve filmech se objevovalo stereotypní zobrazování regionu a jeho obyvatel. zatím co venkov je prezentovaný jako krásný. kteří byli okolnostmi donuceni chopit se zbraní. který se zabýva analýzou výsledkú práce azkoumá možné příčiny.Resumé (česky) Práce se zabývá zobrazením války v Bosně a Herzegovině ve vybraných amerických a britských filmech. a výsledků války v Bosně a Herzegovině a přehled toho. krvežízniví lidé. Michael Winterbotton a Welcome to Sarajevo (1997). na druhé mu však chybí „civilizovanost“ Západu. 98 . mystický. které můžeme nalézt v americké a britské literatuře. Na jedné straně nemá kouzlo Orientu. Práce je zakončená závěrem. Druhá dvě etnika většinou splývají do jednoho celku.

Sarajevo is presented as once a bustling and cosmopolitan city. In these films. The thesis ends with conclusion. The Balkans was presented in most of the films as the bridge connecting the Orient and the Western civilization. bloodthirsty people living in the past. in particular Behind Enemy Lines (2001 dir John Moore). which behaves and looks like people living in the Western countries and were forced to take arms. Bosnian Serbs are depicted as inherently nationalistic. where i summarize the finding 99 . but dangerous place to be. Predrag Antonijević). Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims are blended into the one entity. mysterious. course and the outcomes of the Bosnian War. that was present in American and British Literature since the enlightenment era. we found the stereotypical depiction of the whole Balkan region and its inhabitants. Welcome to Sarajevo (1997 dir Michael Winterbotton). Second part.Resume (English) This thesis deals with depiction of the Bosnian War in American and British film. First part of my thesis presents brief overview of the causes. However. The Bosnian countryside is shown as a beautiful. Then we look at the evolution of the image of the whole region in the American and British literature. now destroyed by the war. film and mass media. Shot through the Heart (1998 dir David Atwood) and Savior (1998 dir. on the other hand it fails to be as developed as the West. is the analysis of the particular films as well as the summary of the common features found in them as well as reflection on the common features. Balkans on one hand does not possess the magic and exoticism of the Orient.

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