It is not often that a student graduation film makes it into competition at a leading European documentary showcase, but Anna Armengol’s This Is Bosnia: The Other Face of Europe is an exception to the rule, screening at DocsBarcelona 2020, in common with other festivals, online at this time.
Although it is only 20 minutes long and has the lightest of archival touches – brief footage of the moments before the Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Bosniak men and youths at the hands of Bosnian Serbs of the Army of the Republika Srpska under the command of Ratko Mladić – and images of the notorious graffiti left in military barracks in nearby Potočari by Dutch so-called UN peacekeepers: «No teeth…? A mustache…? Smel like shit….? A Bosnian girl!» (sic) – set the stage for an examination of the long shadow cast by Europe’s largest and most violent conflict since the Second World War.
Armengol sensibly restricts her ambition to a tight focus on the human consequences of the war, alluding to the political fall-out only where strictly necessary. It is this tight focus that impressed judges at a …
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