Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Welcome to Sarajevo|
Actors: Stephen Dillane, Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Emira Nusevic, Kerry Fox
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Woody Harrelson (PLAY IT TO THE BONE), Academy Award(R)-winner Marisa Tomei (Best Supporting Actress, 1992, MY COUSIN VINNY), and Stephen Dillane (THE HOURS) team up and deliver powerhouse performances in this true story o... more »
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Extraordinary reel life
heather tyler | sydney, nsw Australia | 11/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a journalist familiar with Yugoslavia and the tragedies of its breakway states, I was prepared to dislike this movie about foreign journalists working during the siege of Sarajevo. I thought, here goes Hollywood exploiting an abomination of the 20th Century. What I saw, in fact, humbled me and moved me to many tears. Director Michael Winterbottom takes an unflinching, docudrama approach, integrating real news footage of atrocities with his no frills production. There is no exploitation of suffering here. Winterbottom has an unabashed agenda: to shock, inform, educate and enlighten. It is hardly entertainment. The result, devoid of sentimentality, glamour and a neatly-packaged denoument, is refreshingly un-Hollywood. The characters played by Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei in a small role, Kerry Fox, Stephen Dillane and the fine Croatian actor Goran Visnjic, examine dilemmas journalists habitually face in war zones or not: how to remain objective, whether compassion is appropriate and whether or not to become involved with a story. The journalists, part of a profession where bravado, gallow humour and stamina for drink and adrenalin go with the territory, bring these characteristics to the fore in their perilous bunker, Sarajevo's infamous Holiday Inn. The film is based partly on the true story of Michael Henderson's (played by Dillane) experience in war-torn Bosnia. Henderson, then others, cross the line of objectivity in their promise to help some of the traumatised children of the bombarded city. There are no easy answers in war. I read ... how the film moved a physician to serve in Bosnia and has been used to educate students in modern history. Who needs an Oscar with real life affirmations such as these?
A Balkan Tragedy
zapasnik | New York, New York United States | 02/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the spring of 1992, news correspondents from around the world descended upon Bosnia to document the most horrific conflict Europe had seen since World War II. WELCOME TO SARAJEVO is the story of those correspondents and the surreal world they entered when they checked into their rooms at the Holiday Inn (which, as fate would have it, was located right on the infamous boulevard known as Sniper Alley; they couldn't have found a better place to view the action if they tried).One of those correspondents, Michael Henderson (Stephen Dillane), has very little patience with colleagues like Jordan Flynn (Woody Harrelson) who always find ways of involving themselves in the stories they're covering. "We're not here to help - we're here to report," he says. But Henderson finds it increasingly difficult to remain detached from the carnage around him, especially when Serb artillery and Serb snipers start targeting Sarajevo's children. Frustrated by networks (who would rather lead with stories about the Duchess of York's marital problems) and world leaders (who condemn the killing while allowing it to continue), Henderson finally decides to act; if he can't stop the war, then he can at least save the life of a child.WELCOME TO SARAJEVO is based on "Natasha's Story," the 1993 memoir of ITN correspondent Michael Nicholson. Director Michael Winterbottom has fashioned a remarkable film by taking the events in Nicholson's book and interweaving them with actual footage of the siege of Sarajevo. And he's couldn't have assembled a better cast; Stephen Dillaine and Woody Harrelson give the performances of their careers (thus far) as Henderson and Flynn, and they're ably supported by Kerry Fox, Marisa Tomei, Emira Nusevic, and a charismatic, pre-ER Goran Visnjic (who comes close to walking away with the movie). When WELCOME TO SARAJEVO was released on VHS, one of the Amazon.com reviewers took former President Clinton to task for his "lies" about Bosnia, but he neglected to mention that most of the events depicted in this film (Bosnia's descent into war, the breadline massacre, the establishment of Serb-operated concentration camps in Omarska and Trnopolje) took place when George H.W. Bush was in the White House. Clearly there's blame enough to go around. Bosnia wasn't just failed by the U.S., Britain, France, and the U.N.; Bosnia was failed by the world. And the world should be ashamed.As for WELCOME TO SARAJEVO, it's a vivid and unforgettable portrait of one of the most lunatic periods in recent history. Don't miss it."
zapasnik | 01/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As many have said, this movie is perhaps not the best film of all time. But let's get realistic, this movie took the atrocities of the Balkan wars and presented it in such a way that normal viewers could feel outraged without feeling numb (like CNN made us feel during the siege of Sarajevo.) After watching this film I volunteered my services as a physician in Bosnia. After returning to America and watching it again I cried. I finally understood (1%) of what they went through. I recommend this movie to all, but watch to be informed not necessarily for cinematic excellence."
Unexpected, compelling and worthwhile.
zapasnik | 02/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am very tender-hearted and rarely see films with carnage and bombs in them, so I was nervous about this one, based on the reviews. On the other hand I was curious about the location and film action/real video footage technique, and my husband wanted to see it. I found it very compelling and not too hard to watch. The film recorded real devastation--a real city reduced to rubble, real faces, real hunger, real maiming, real death--which I unexpectedly found much easier to watch than Hollywood's usual wallowing in pretend gore. The director and actors let the story speak for itself, and that helped. The narrative felt genuine, not manipulated, and my attention was focused on the Sarajevan people and their experience. It was impossible not to be touched by the details of life under siege, but I'm very grateful that this film was made. I am planning to watch it again to get a fuller sense of all that went on--it's a very complex, rich piece of work. The film has moral integrity and is an excellent choice for thinking, compassionate people, even tenderhearted ones who usually avoid violent films."