Welcome to Sarajevo Reviews
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.
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.
Having been to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia this movie was that much more meaningful to me.
Also kickass music.