Rape Camps brought to light in the last movie from the most prominent Bosnian film director

Jasmila Zbanic
Rape Camps brought to light in the last movie from the most prominent Bosnian film director.

During this year edition of the Sarajevo Film Festival, we had the chance to know more about the latest project from one of the most prominent movie directors from Bosnia. 

The movie "For Those Who Can Tell No Tales" which had in July its World Premiere at Toronto film festival, is the last work from Jasmila Zbanic, mostly known for her Golden Bear winning film "Grbavica".

The idea for her last project have grown from the real life experience which Kym Vercoe, the main actress from the movie, have faced while visiting Visegrad in Bosnia i Herzegovina. During her stay, an interesting festival was running on the area and due to that a spa hotel just outside Visegrad was recommended. It was only when she returned home, in Australia, that she found out that during the war, the Vilina Vlas Hotel, which was recommended in the guidebook, had been a rape camp. Questions have been raised why there was no information in the guidebook or the town itself about such events. Such intriguing fact made Kym return to Visegrad to investigate the hidden story all by herself. 

Interesting facts:
During the shooting of the new movie from Jasmila Zbanic, the crew was not able to get permission to film inside the hotel. Only outside filming was allowed. Jasmila just approach to the situation with the interesting statement "in order to tell the truth, you have to lie".

The truth is that during the conflict more than 200 women were raped at the Hotel. Now-a-days, the place is used as a modern designful hotel.

An interesting fact that happen during the shooting was that Jasmila asked a Serbian friend to act as the director of the movie due to her Bosnian origins. This request was done only to prevent eventual conflicts during the production of the movie.

The conference end up with a good Remark about the current status of Bosnian cinema. It was asked to the director her opinion why in the last 10 years, 120 Bosnian movies won awards. Jasmila refuse to call it a BOOM in the Bosnian cinema panorama. Her opinion is that Bosnian people are very good story tellers and that's the reason of such achievement. Unfortunately there is not so much support for such efforts.

Text and Photography by Ricardo Praga