Welcome to Sarajevo (1997)

Welcome to Sarajevo



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Michael WinterbottomÕs emotionally powerful docudrama about a British TV reporter and his attempts to smuggle a young Muslim girl out of the Bosnian war zone.

Rating: R (For brutal images/war atrocities and language)
Genre: Drama, Television
Directed By:
Written By: Frank Cottrell Boyce
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 3, 2004


as Henderson

as Jane Carson

as Annie McGee

as Mrs. Savic

as Helen Henderson

as Munira

as Emira's Uncle

as Lucky Strike

as Altar Boy

as UN Convoy Official

as Woman Baker

as Baker's Husband

as Nina's Co-Worker

as Zivko

as Road Runner

as Christopher Henderso...

as Jane Henderson

as Bride's Mother

as Bride's Sister

as Hairdresser

as Chetnik Leader

as Black Marketeer Lead...

as Hospital Girl

as Child on Bus

as Beauty Contest Compe...

as Woman Shouting at Br...

as Black Marketeer No. ...

as Black Marketeer No. ...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Welcome to Sarajevo

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (10)

A crisp, rigorously unsentimental director, Winterbottom was a good choice for this project.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A compelling but jumbled film that examines the line between journalistic detachment and passion.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Too often we sense that the actors are drifting and the story is at sea.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

However closely they mirror the real experience of Mr. Nicholson and others, some of the shocks here are too sadly predictable.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

Messy and visceral, with an articulate, pointed anger that's recognizably British, "Welcome to Sarajevo" hits with an impact that's not diminished by the fact that Sarajevo's uneasy peace has held.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Loosely structured, it keeps its focus despite lots of dramatic wiggle room.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Welcome to Sarajevo

To get the story, they'll risk everything.

Good Film! What "Welcome To Sarajevo" did was open my eyes and help me realize how fortunate I am. Sarajevo was a peaceful, metropolitan city not unlike many cities in North America. But it is no longer. It's almost too easy to clear your mind of the strife going on in other parts of the world. Sometimes we feel guilty for being so fortunate. Sometimes we feel horror at the news reports of inhuman atrocities. And most times we shut out the reality of it as it is rarely affecting us in a personal way.

This gripping tale of war-torn Sarajevo is told through the eyes of British reporters. It will probably shock, jar and depress you, but it will most certainly increase your sense of global awareness, and instill a better appreciation of the liberties that most of us have taken for granted. Images from concentration camps hauntingly mimic those from fifty years ago.

This film is based on an amazing true story of one man's personal involvement and promise to rescue one refugee child and the great lengths to which he must go to deliver her from a war zone.

I caught this film in its limited theatrical run following its inclusion in the 1997 Toronto Film Festival. I exited the theater with my wife in a staggering awe-struck state. No one could fully communicate what it would be like to live in a war zone, but this film gives you a potent taste without pulling any punches.

What this means is that most people will likely find it difficult to recommend this film to friends. It's not an uplifting tale, but it is an extremely important one, and I feel privileged and fortunate for having seen it.

Journalist Floyd from US, Michael Henderson from UK and their teams meet the beginning of Bosnian war in Sarajevo. During their reports they find an orphanage run by devoted Mrs. Savic near the front line. Henderson gets so involved in kids' problems that he decides to take on the children, Emira, illegally back to England. He is assisted by American aid worker Nina.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Disturbing film documenting the death and destruction of a nation torn apart by religious differences. Some very disturbing scenes of babies and children caught in the midst of the killing, and insanity. The actual footage used in this movie is really difficult to view, but needed to be shown. The newspeople covering the stories in these war torn countries are very brave (or crazy?) people. Kudos to them.....

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Journalists cover the war in Sarajevo.
Michael Winterbottom's film has its heart in the right place. Attempting to expose the violence and atrocities of war and their effects on children is admirable, but what's missing is a clear, central story arc; the film finds it about forty-five minutes into the film, but it's too late. What is more, the film is a combination of news footage and live action shots; this works, but Winterbottom over-uses the trick.
Overall, I found it hard to dislike Welcome to Sarajevo, but I must admit that the story flounders.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Welcome to Sarajevo Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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