Final Cut contending for the Heart of Sarajevo
On Monday, August 21, the 12th Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF)
Documentary selection will screen a B92 production documentary directed
by Janko Baljak: “Vukovar – Final Cut”.
Baljak’s film, this year the race for the “Heart of Sarajevo” will
include among others Carnival (Karneval) by Bosnian director Alen
Drljevic, a film on the mysterious disappearance of Bosnian refugees
in Montenegro, 'Statement 710399' (Izjava 710399) by Refik Hodžic,
a story of a father trying to discover the fate of his son missing
during the Srebrenica massacre, ‘The Second Generation’ (Druga generacija)
by Amir Muratovic, that addresses the problems of Bosnian refugees
living in Slovenia, ‘Europe Across the Fence’ (Evropa preko plota)
by Želimir Žilnik, on the effects of the Schengen Agreement on what
goes about at the Serbian-Hungarian border, the Hungarian film ‘Mecsek
Kincse’ by Marton Szirmai seeks the reasons of the abandonment of
tradition, as well as ‘Chicken Elections’ (Pileci izbori) by Goran
Radovanovic, nominated for the prestigious Silver Wolf award at
the Dutch festival IDFA, the biggest documentary event in the world.
Janko Baljak’s film, that premiered at Zagreb’s Zagrebdoks early
this year and at Belgrade’s 34th FEST, is the first Serbian-Croatian
co production dealing with the subject of Vukovar in the 1991 war.
This film represents an effort by investigative journalists from
both banks of the Danube to create a truthful story about everything
that happened in Vukovar (Croatia) during the spring, summer and
fall of 1991, as well as what happened shortly after the tragic
event of 1991, and what the historical, societal and emotional consequences
are, after years of pain, suffering and destruction.
“We sought to understand why it had to be Vukovar, the affluent
Slavonic town said to be a miniature of Yugoslavia itself, to live
through a complete apocalypse, that can be compared to the sacrifice
and the siege of Stalingrad, while the extent of destruction that
could be seen can be compared to what took place in Hiroshima.
Why would a town, of no strategic interest to either the army or
the police in the war between the Yugoslav and the Croatian armies
be so systematically destroyed, while the Serbian and Croatian leaders,
Miloševic and Tudman, took lazy strolls around Karadordevo, agreeing
on Yugoslavia’a partition”, reads the author’s statement on “Vukovar
– Final Cut”.
Beside the interviews with the persons who decided on the fate
of the people from both sides of the frontline, and with the witnesses
of the tragic events, the authors used the archive footage obtained
from both Serbian and Croatian media, world news agencies and private
“Vukovar – Final Cut” is a B92 production, directed by Janko Baljak,
who also co-wrote the script, while the author, screenplay writer
and the leader of the Serbian-Croatian journalists’ team was Drago
Hedl (Osijek, Croatia).
Janko Baljak was born in 1965 in Belgrade. He graduated film and
TV directing from the Drama Academy in Belgrade. His debut short
film On account of reasonable doubt was screened in 1986 at the
Yugoslav Documentary and Short Film festival’s official selection.
A Sense of Hearing is his part of the omnibus he made during his
years of study.
He is the author of scores of art and culture programs for TV Belgrade.
He is one of the founders of B92 film and TV production, for which
he produced a series of documentaries, successfully shown and awarded
in the country and abroad. Since September 1995, he has been the
teaching assistant for professor Goran Markovic at the Drama Academy
1986 Zbog osnovane sumnje/On account of reasonable doubt (short)
1987 Slušate novosti dana/You're Listening to the News of the Day
1988 Apsolutni sluh/A Sense of Hearing
1988 Nepodoban/Misfit (doc)
1989 Derbi/Derby (doc)
1990 Dugi život bracnog para Kos/The Long Life of the Married Couple
1991 Bilo jednom Srbiji/Once upon a time in Serbia (doc)
1993 Eco Aqua di Montenegro (doc)
1993 Slike žalosnih dogadaja/Images of Sad Events (doc)
1993 Ekstemni Beograd/Extreme Belgrade (doc)
1994 Novinar Brkic, sam protiv svih/Brkic, The Journalist - All
Alone Against Everybody Else (doc)
1994 Svi predsednikovi dnevnici/All The President's News (doc)
1994 Kosovska trilogija/ Kosovo Trilogy (doc)
1994 Beogradski radio mladoženja/Belgrade Radio Bridegroom (doc)
1995 Vidimo se u citulji/ The Crime That Changed Serbia (doc)
1998 Etnicki cisto/Ethnically Clean (doc)
1998 Duvanski put/ Tabacco road (doc)
2000 02:06 - Anatomija bola/02:06 - Anatomy of Pain (doc)
2001 Mrtvi ubijaju - Anatomija bola 2/The Dead Kill - Anatomy of
2002 Srbija u kontejneru/ Serbia in Garbage Can (doc. film and TV