Monday, July 27, 2015

International Services Kicks Off New Film Series With "Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo"

The star-crossed lovers whose story is told in
 "Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo."
Since the beginning of cinematic history, independent filmmakers, documentarians, and occasionally, Hollywood directors have found inspiration in the communities and individuals affected by armed conflict. In recognition and celebration of film's ability to tell the stories of those silenced by violence and oppression, Red Cross International Services in Colorado will hold the first installment of the International Humanitarian Law Film Series Thursday, July 30 at 4 p.m., at Red Cross headquarters, 444 Sherman St., in Denver.

The first film in the IHL series is "Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo," a 1994 documentary co-produced by the acclaimed PBS Frontline series, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the National Film Board of Canada and WDR, a German broadcasting institution. Originally aired one year after their tragic deaths in 1993, the film tells the story of Admira Ismić and  Boško Brkić, lovers shot by a sniper while attempting to escape from Sarajevo. Ismić, a 25-year-old Muslim, and Brkić, a 24-year-old Serb, died in each other's arms on a bridge leading out of their besieged city.

Canadian director John Zaritsky received the Alfred Dupont Award from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism as well as an Emmy nod for the film. The film explores the horrific daily realities faced by those who lived in Sarajevo during the siege, and, like its namesake Shakespearean play, reflects on the tragic impact of violent conflict on the individuals caught up within it.

During the Bosnian War, the International Committee of the Red Cross provided aid and comfort to those hurt and displaced in the Balkan region. Throughout the conflict, The Red Cross also helped to resettle Bosnian refugees. Today, the Red Cross Restoring Family Links program deals directly with the ongoing legacy of the Bosnian War, working to reunite family members separated by the conflict. Recently, the exhumation of mass graves in the region has allowed RFL to provide surviving family members of those killed in the conflict a measure of long-awaited closure regarding their lost loved ones.

A roundtable discussion on International Humanitarian Law and the responsibility of preserving human dignity during armed conflict will follow the film. Food will be provided at the event.

Please RSVP for the film event before noon, July 29, by clicking here. For more information regarding the series, contact Tim Bothe.

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