Kusturica: All Serbs are unwanted in Kosovo, and so am I

BELGRADE -- Film director Emir Kusturica says that ethnic Albanians had declared all Serbs unwanted in Kosovo - so he was not surprised to be included.

Emir Kusturica (Tanjug, file)
Emir Kusturica (Tanjug, file)

"So, their request to make me a persona non grata is accepted. Since they already declared all Serbs personae non gratae, and after they desecrated our graves and tore down our monuments, now they are actually telling us we should not come to Kosovo. But that's nothing new," Kusturica said.

This reaction on Tuesday of the internationally renowned filmmaker came after head of the Kosovo Association of Film Artists Lirak Celaj said he wanted Kusturica declared a persona non grata because of his announcements he would make a film about organ trafficking in Kosovo.

The ethnic Albanian KLA has been accused of kidnapping Serb and other civilians in 1999 and 2000, and removing their vital organs to sell them in the international black market.

Now Celaj, who recently became head of the Prištiina office of Hashim Thaci's Democratic Party of Kosovo, believes Kusturica's film continues anti-Albanian propaganda, and announced he would demand "reaction from the international community."

Kusturica commented by saying that the issue of organ trafficking was "unfortunately not used in the talks between Belgrade and Priština, although it is the most brutal event of this century."

"For that reason, the very mention of the subject caused them to come to the idea to declare me persona non grata," he stated.

Kusturica previously announced that his film would be made during the next three years "because it was a large project, demanding great preparation and investment."

He noted he would make the film in Russia, since he had already stated that he would do a project there, adding that he was "aware he would not be allowed to film in Kosovo."