Gori vatra

Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria, Turkey, France


Tale of a family collapsing. Tale of post-war reality. Tale of the miracle of people who are ready to stand everything, who remain hopeful and who decide to struggle to live better. Tebnj, a small picturesque Bosnian town.
On the surface — good, open people, humble and decent lives, a market place, tradition, and neighbourhood.
Under the surface — ethnic intolerance, crime, prostitution and total corruption.
Suddenly, the news that the US President Clinton is soon coming to visit the town and that he is willing to accept the "honour" of becoming citizen and the "godfather" of their municipality. It all seems to be a clear indication of the better times coming, the days of welfare, progress, happiness, and prosperity. But this must be earned somehow: in seven days all that has not been good - crime, corruption, and ethnic intolerance — must simply perish. Tragic-comic reality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, two years alter the war. Under the supervision and with wholehearted assistance of the international community observers a frenzied race with time starts in an attempt to build democracy in seven days. In this race the whole town goes completely crazy ...

Director's Statement

I made a dozen films in Bosnia during the war, all were about that war, some were well received and I gained praise and prizes for them. People commented an the courage, veracity and significance of what we had done. However it sickened me to be making films about the horror I was seeing all around me, the killing, the blood and the interminable and futile disputes about who was to blame, who was responsible. It was an utterly terrible and oppressive experience, and I was breathing it in as if it were air. I wished I was making films about peace ...

Then peace came and I continued making films. However, I discovered that peace could be worse than war.

Now I have come to understand, as many have before me, the tragicomic optimism that gives the human spirit its inexplicable strength to recover from awful war and bitter peace. The ability and courage to laugh and find humour in hardship, even when the toughest life refuses to improve, helps us to survive and to continue to have faith in the future.

Director's Biography

Pjer Zalica
· Born in Sarajevo, 1964.
· Graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Sarajevo, the department of directing.
· Completed the course in film screenplay and film production at the "Grobjan" International Film School.
· His documentaries, the feature film "MGM Sarajevo", as well as his short feature film "The End of Unpleasant Times" were broadcast worldwide and shown at the most significant world festivals (Cannes, Montreal, London, Cartage, Sydney, Munich, Nice, Biarritz, Sarajevo).
· Recipient of numerous awards, the most renowned of which are: "Felix" — European Film Academy annual award for documentaries; "Special mention" — the Munich Filmschools Film Festival, 1995; "Special Mention" — FIPA - Biarritz, France 1995; "The Best Film" of the "Made in Bosnia" programme at 1998 Sarajevo Film Festival.
· Author of several screenplays for short and long feature films and for a TV-drama.
· Co-writer of the screenplay for the first post-war feature film in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Ademir Kenovies "Perfect Circle".
· In the 1997/8 and 1998/9 seasons, participated, both as the author and as the director, in the production of documentary TV-serial "FReSH — Made in Bosnia and Herzegovina".
· Professor of directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Sarajevo.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Pjer Zalica

Written by: Pjer Zalica

Produced by: Ademir Kenovic

Cinematography: Mirsad Herovic

Editing: Almir Kenovic

Production Design: Kemal Hrustanovic

Costume Design: Amela Vilic

Original Score: Sasa Losic

Cast: Enis Bešlagic (Faruk), Bogdan Diklic (Zaim)

Nominations and Awards

  • Special Mention - Film/ Person 2003
  • European Film Academy Discovery - Prix Fassbinder 2003