This small b&w docu about Sarajevo under siege works as a touching probe into life during wartime. Though too uneven to leave a lasting impression, it has enough fascinating and moving sections to give an insight into the horrors of the conflict for the civilian population. It will work for specific fest and TV auds.

This small b&w docu about Sarajevo under siege works as a touching probe into life during wartime. Though too uneven to leave a lasting impression, it has enough fascinating and moving sections to give an insight into the horrors of the conflict for the civilian population. It will work for specific fest and TV auds.

Best sections are the interviews with young soldiers — some still in their teens — who talk about being shot at and wounded, and shooting and killing. One recounts killing an old woman by mistake. Another tells of being a comedian in civilian life, and is proud to do his John Cleese impression for the camera.

Directors Didi Danquart and Johann Feindt made the film under conditions of extreme danger, which explains the lingering impression that they were thankful for what they got rather than trying to get everything they wanted. Feindt’s camerawork is strong and impressive. Switching between arbitrary location shots and interviews, pic provides an atmospheric, everyday portrait of bombed-out Sarajevo without resorting to actual combat footage.

Wundbrand: Sarajevo, 17 Tage in August

(GERMAN -- DOCU -- B&W)

Production

A Factory 2 production, in associate with Arte. (International sales: Factory 2, Berlin.) Directed, written by Didi Danquart, Johann Feindt. Camera (b&w), Feindt; editor, Danquart; music/sound, Cornelius Schwehr; associate producers, Martin Hagermann, Thomas Kufus. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum section), Feb. 13, 1994. Running time: 83 MIN.
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