Using this event as a metaphor for nation’s unclean conscience about the consequences of its political choices, in this essay documentary director confronts her country’s wartime and criminal past, and the evil that is still on the loose today.
Total solar eclipse – this rare and magnificent natural phenomenon – is the central motif of my film, for two important reasons.
On August 11, 1999, people of Serbia collectively hid from the sun. I use this surreal event as a metaphor for Serbia’s avoidance of its wartime past and responsibilities. People, locked in their apartments, hid from the lunar shadow behind thick curtains, cowering before their involvement in the horrors of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia. It represents the unclean conscience of a nation about the consequences of its political choices. Even now, the war crimes, atrocities, and genocide perpetrated in the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo are treated with silence at best, and denial at worst. Serbia has still not confronted the evil it supported for over a decade, so that evil still roams unconstrained.
A solar eclipse is intimately connected to the nature of time. Solar eclipses repeat in cycles, they appear in exact intervals of 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours. I use the cyclic nature of eclipse to remind us that the past and history are repeating – much like the wars, hatred, and brutality from my point of view when I was a girl. I was 22 when the total eclipse occurred. By then, my country had waged four wars.
THE ECLIPSE is an anti-war film. The reoccurring solar eclipse, and the breakup of Yugoslavia, warn us that the postwar European peace is an illusion, that our violent history can be used to sow the seeds for new carnage and war. But how do we stop this vicious cycle? One of the ways is to look to compassion, shame, guilt, and responsibility. Hope lives in an open and honest communication. I hope this film will contribute towards that.
Nataša holds a Master's degree in Photography, and took part in ESoDoc 2006, IDFAcademy 2007, IDFA Summer School 2014, Berlinale Talents 2015, and Werner Herzog Rogue Film School 2016. She’s been with Medieperatørene since 2011, working both as a director and editor.
2022 - THE ECLIPSE, Documentary
2010 - MBAMBU AND THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON, Documentary
2009 - BIG SISTER PUNAM, Documentary
2007 - JOURNEY OF A RED FRIDGE, Documentary
Cast & Crew
Directed by: Nataša Urban
Written by: Nataša Urban
Main Producer: Ingvil Giske
Cinematography: Ivan Markovic
Editing: Jelena Maksimovic
Original Score: Jared Blum, Bill Gould
Sound: Svenn Jakobsen
Nominations and Awards
- European University Film Award 2022
- Documentary Selection 2022