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‘Back to Visegrad’s’ Julie Biro, Antoine Jaccoud on Repairing the Past – Variety

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“Again to Visegrad” opens, appropriately sufficient, with Miresha, a former pupil at Japanese Bosnia’s Visegrad Main College, driving by way of a sequence of lengthy tunnels hacked right into a hillside. Miresha is in some ways nonetheless in a psychological tunnel herself. She’s about to attend a faculty reunion of her classmates on the faculty, whom she hasn’t seen in 26 years, after the 1992-95 Bosnian Struggle broke out, separating Muslim and Serbian college students seemingly for ever, forcing the previous to flee for his or her lives with their dad and mom.

26 years later, Budimir Zecevic, the varsity’s former headmaster, and Djemila Krsmanovic, Miresha’s class trainer’s widow, get into Djemila’s Zastava automotive and begin an extended journey to seek out the category’ typically nonetheless traumatized college students, asking them one after the other, in the event that they’d like to fulfill once more. Produced by Elisa Garbar at Lausanne’s Louise Productions, with Exterior The Field taking all rights to Switzerland, “Again to Visegrad” data these conversations with college students then a part of the ultimate reunion.

“What’s accomplished is completed,” one pupil says: You may’t change the previous. However individuals can actually change how they really feel about it for the remainder of their lives. Zecevic and Krsmanovic’s mission is to recommend one other previous which the scholars had, nonetheless dashed.

Made by two now barely infirm individuals who, reasonably like their Zastava, will not be dome but , although barely battered – she has a ache within the stomach, he’s dropping his listening to – their mission is a transferring lesson in humanism.

Selection interviewed Biro about her first documentary and Jaccoud, a distinguished screenwriter, co-scribe of Ursula Meier (“Sister”) and Bettina Oberli (“With the Wind”) about his directorial function debut.

The scholars’ reminiscences of childhood appear, from their confessions, to be of Struggle. Merisha can’t even bear in mind her classmates earlier than that. The reunion isn’t a lot to bury the previous, however to re-mould reminiscence by fore-fronting one other model, the ex-students younger lives earlier than the Struggle, the scholars’ schooldays which for a lot of look like a misplaced paradise. Are you able to remark?

Biro: It wasn’t straightforward for the ex-students to precise their emotions. A few of them have been afraid, some refused to come back, others have been excited, or hesitant. I used to be moved by their sincerity even in silence. Our intention was to not confront completely different variations of historical past or to contribute to the writing of historical past. We needed to present the viewers an opportunity to hear to private reminiscences of this era who endured the conflict as youngsters. There are plenty of research reminding us that Tito’s Yugoslavia was not a paradise, which is true. However I perceive the youngsters of Visegrad within the late ‘80s saying that it was when in comparison with their experiences since 1992.

The image which emerged is present in different documentaries at Visions: Youth, right here very younger, the victims of the ambitions of an older era. Might you remark?

Jaccoud: It’s true that these children had no alternative however to simply accept the divisions, hate, worry and violence that contaminated their nation at an age the place there isn’t a purpose to worry or hate your neighbor, at an age the place propaganda and political communication sound so distant. They might not perceive it, and it appears they can’t nonetheless. That’s the reason they typically have the sensation that their childhood was stolen. Then again, our movie exhibits two “adults” who attempt to restore what was destroyed utilizing the type of a easy – however not really easy to organize- class reunion.  This aspect of the story touches me quite a bit. Nothing obliged them to do it. It’s some inner drive from their souls.

Biro: This era inherits silence. The youngsters from the Struggle don’t discuss concerning the previous with a view to discover some peace. They like laughing, singing and telling jokes, good instances. As Bojan says within the film, they’re torn between the necessity to bear in mind and the need to neglect. These days, nothing is taught concerning the conflict in school. All that is still are the private tales of the older era. A collective narrative is deeply lacking in Bosnia in addition to in Serbia. Current historical past remains to be a sizzling matter.

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Again to Visegrad
Julie Biro

“Again to Visegrad” marks your function directorial debut, Antoine. How did you become involved and why determine to direct? 

Jaccoud: I used to be first requested, as a screenwriter who had labored within the Balkans, by Julie and her producer Elisa Garbar to assist to create the story from the weather Julie had already collected.  Then Julie prompt that I board for the true journey, making the movie. Having labored in Chile on Stephane Goël’s “Islanders,” I actually loved the thrilling, typically scary, freedom of capturing a documentary that may’t be written or over-planned like a fiction movie. On the set, Julie was actually nearer to the characters, primarily as a result of she will be able to perceive and communicate their language. I stayed just a few steps again, the voice of our translator in my ear, considering of the filmic materials we had, and what we might nonetheless want to gather, with a view to inform this story correctly.

There are beautiful scenes of the battered Zastava touring the Bosnian countryside which appear to emerge organically as metaphors for the characters’ journey or emotions. Once more, might you remark?

I hope movie analysts and historians will see these scenes as deliberate metaphors. For the tunnel scene that opens the movie we took benefit of real-life. On the highway from Sarajevo to Visegrad, there are many tunnels, some darkish and scary. As we’d determined to shoot Mersiha’s complete highway journey to the varsity assembly, with the concept perhaps this journey would give us a type of body to the story, the editor determined with us to maintain these tunnel moments, that are intriguing and in some way threatening on the identical time. Nonetheless, saying we have been serious about metaphors whereas capturing in these darker than hell tubes could be an exaggeration. With the drones, Julie and I by no means thought we might use such gadgets for this movie. We had a small crew, and nobody had any expertise with drones.  However in the future our driver Ervin Blažević introduced one to us, a gift he had acquired, and in simply two hours we took these superb pictures you possibly can see within the movie. God’s standpoint on the smallness of those two retired academics and their quest to assemble their pupils? Allegorical use of a standard image – the bridge- of Bosnian common tradition? We’ll depart the that means open…

The music which accompanies the journey colours the temper of the movie. Might you clarify why you selected it and who performs it?

Budimir Zečević is a superb accordionist who additionally sings with pleasure and conviction. Antoine and I made a decision we should always have accordion in our film early throughout capturing. Whereas enhancing, Antoine heard about Mario Batkovic, a Swiss musician from Bosnia who has lived in Switzerland for the reason that conflict (1992-1995). Each of us have been instantly seduced by his music: it’s accordion, however not folkish in any respect. That is modern music, nostalgic, typically darkish and really expressive. Mario is sort of the identical age because the ex-students, he is aware of intimately what this era went by way of. One more reason the music matches so nicely with “Again to Visegrad.”

Jamie Lang contributed to this text.

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Julie Biro and Antoine Jaccoud
Courtesy: Julie Biro / Antoine Jaccoud

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