Ireland, North Macedonia, Sweden


AS IF I AM NOT THERE is a story of a young woman from Sarajevo whose life is shattered the day a young soldier walks into her apartment and tells her to pack her things. Rounded up with the other women from the village and imprisoned in a warehouse in a remote region of Bosnia, she quickly learns the rules of camp life. The day she is picked out to 'entertain' the soldiers, the real nightmare begins. Stripped of everything she ever had and facing the constant threat of death, she struggles against all the hatred she sees around her. In a final act of courage or madness, she decides to make one last stand: to dare to be herself. And this simple act saves her life. It's when she realises that surviving means more than staying alive that she has to make a decision that will change her life forever. AS IF I AM NOT THERE is a modern war story that explores love, identity and the connections between us.

Director's Statement

AS IF I AM NOT THERE is not a war story; it is a story about love. About the power of love to transcend the darkest evil that lurks in man's heart. Love that is more powerful than the instinct to survive. This is a contemporary European story about a young, urban woman whose life is shattered when she is caught up in the Bosnian war. Captured and taken away from everything she has ever known, she has to learn to survive with nothing but her mind to escape from the hell she finds herself in. She has to constantly battle to retain a shred of humanity in the face of such absolute hatred. The story will be told in a fragmented, impressionistic way as she tries to piece her life back together and make sense of all that has happened to her. It explores the themes of freedom and identity in all their myriad forms. Being set in a war, the characters face many challenges and are stripped down to their essential humanity - this is always fertile ground for drama. The drama will play out on their faces and, in their beauty and dignity, we find hope for all humanity.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Juanita Wilson

Written by: Juanita Wilson

Produced by: James Flynn

Cinematography: Tim Fleming

Editing: Nathan Nugent

Production Design: Bujar Mucha

Original Score: Kiril Dzajkovski

Cast: Natasha Petrovic, Fedja Stukan

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2011