Monday, August 28, 2006

Vukovar: The Final Cut

Apparently my first post didn't go through...

Recently, a joint Croatian-Serbian team has produced a documentary on the siege of Vukovar. The movie was recently honored at the 2006 Sarajevo Film Festival.

For infomration on the film, including a trailer, video clips, photos and press articles see the following site:

Vukovar: The Final Cut


Bg anon said...

This movie was shown at the Belgrade Fest recently.

Good documentary but doesnt reveal much new for those that follow Balkan matters closely.

The overriding impression one gets from watching the film is 'where did those outsiders come from?'. One feels as if village dwellers and their ilk.
I'm a bit wary of these type of things because they are too simplified but suppose there is something in it.

Another plus is that they spare us from the melodramatic music common in movies (documentaries)whose directors appear to think that unspeakable events on camera arent enough to make audiences sad, angry or whatever.

I would write a little more but its been a good few months since I saw the doc.

Yakima_Gulag said...

@shaina, I had something about this when they began to make the movie, I'm glad it'
s out now and made it to SFF.

@bg anon, I'm glad that they didn't put that overdramatic music as well, I find it offensive when that's done!
I haven't seen the film, a lot of films never make it to the Yakima Gulag due to the small size of this place and the domination by conservative Republicans. The theatres here have all been owned by the same family for AGES.

Kirk Johnson said...

I really want to see this. If only to support a joint Serb-Croat venture.

And ditto about the music.

Shaina said...

Thanks for your insight.

I still want to catch the movie, just because I love documentaries.

Is this the first joint Croatian-Serbian project on the war?

Sometimes I think music can be very effective, but other times it seems forced; as if, as bg anon says, the director wants the audience to be ever sadder or cry or whatever.

And this is comming from someone who has teared up on more than one occassion during a "Cold Case" ending montage. ;)

Bg anon said...

Yes it is the first Serbian Croatian documentary concerning the war.

Much of the research was done by Drago Hedl, a respected Croatian journalist from Osijek.

He's in the news these days because of a number of Croatian extreme right wing type politicians (like Glavas) that allegedly sanctioned war crimes against Croatian Serbs in 1991.

That is, he was due to testify against Glavas and company but he says he has received death threats so wont testify. Something tells me that story isnt over yet.

Dont misunderstand me I'm not advocating a world without music during movies. What I am saying is that when you see pictures of dead bodies for example you dont need the violins. If you need a musical cue to feel sad when it is silent there is something wrong with you. Equally there is no need to use bombastic music to 'tell' your audience who the good / bad guys were.

The key to a good documentary film is to respect your audience and let them draw their own conclusions.

It is pitiful the amount of documentaries I've seen on HRT or RTS and their unsubtle attempts to manipulate the masses. It leaves me emotional all right. Bloody angry that somebody is trying to yank my chain.

Yakima sorry to hear that the conservatives are so numerous in your part of the world. Ever thought of holding an independence vote and breaking away from the Gulag?

Bg anon said...

In fact now that I think about it silent documentaries IMO are more likely to influence audiences of the 'sinning' side.

For example its not easy to take on board that the government (regime) you supported at the time allowed or comitted war crimes. But its the final straw if you get the sad music as well. If I get angry (because my intelligence is being insulted) then its likely these people will become livid and reject all of the conclusions of the documentary. That way they wont ever have to face the bare, silent truth.

So I'd say for reconciliations sake too its better to keep it factual and not to manipulate the audiences reaction.