Standing out from the spate of recent docs about atrocities committed during the wars in former Yugoslavia, Alen Drljevic’s “Carnival” engrossingly presents the original research of Seki Radoncic, a Bosnian journalist working in Montenegro. Its chilling subject is the little-known collaboration of the Montenegrin authorities with Radovan Karadzic’s nationalist Serb republic, and the tragic fate of Bosnians who had sought safety in the neighboring and supposedly neutral Montenegro during the war. Suspensefully edited as an unraveling mystery, the film is fully understandable even for those who know little about the area.
As pictured here, Montenegro is a breathtaking land of virgin forests, mountains and sea, famous for its sun and carnival celebrations. Behind this facade, however, lies the ugly fact of how, in May and June of 1992, 83 Bosnian refugees were rounded up and handed over to Karadzic’s men. Almost all were summarily executed. Based on Radoncic’s book “The Fatal Freedom,” the film is peppered with moving interviews with the victims’ families, who await justice from a war crimes tribunal.