"A History Lesson That Never Delivers"
A Review of "Death in Sarajevo" by Nathan H. Box
Starring: Snezana Vidovic, Izudin Barjrovic, Vedrana Seksan Director: Danis Tanovic, Writer: Danis Tanovic
Rating: 2 Stars, SKIP!
For my first film of the 43rd Annual Seattle International Film, I saw "Death in Sarajevo." With a doubt, it has to be one of the most convoluted movies I have ever seen. In fact, here is the synopsis of the movie according to IMDB.com,
"The major hotel Europe in Sarajevo will receive an important visit on the anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, attack that triggered World War. As the manager of the place waiting to Jacques, a special French guest, workers in the kitchen preparing a strike because they have spent months without pay and journalist records a television show on the roof."
Right? The plot reads like it is all over the place and it can be viewed in the same fashion. This leads me to my first major complaint with the film. While the characters are engaging and the plot sparks your interest, each of the story lines isn't tied together very well. As the credits rolled, I failed to see how each overlapped. More than their simple interactions, the characters seemed to be heading in their own direction.
But the film did pique my interest in a history I don't well. Beyond the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, I can't tell you what led to the first World War. I also can't articulate the years of frustration between the Bosnians, Serbians, Slavs, and the rest of Europe. With this lack of knowledge in his hand, the writer/director possessed more knowledge than me. What Tanovic refuses to do in this film is to spend time educating you. If you don't know this history, then you might as well be prepared to consider yourself lost. So, if you need to brush up on your history of the states on the Mediterrian, then this movie is more than likely not for you.
Be good to each other,