Cast includes: Denis Quaid (The Right Stuff), Natasa Ninkovic, Sergej Trifunovic
Director: Predrag Antonijevic
Producer: Oliver Stone
Genre: War drama, based on a true story (1998)
In brief: Joshua Rose doesn’t believe in “all that religious stuff. You don’t need to go to church to believe in God.” But his beliefs are tested to the breaking point when a terrorist bomb kills his wife and son in a Paris café, right before his eyes. When the authorities say they’ll find who did it, Joshua says, “Bullshit! Just walk down the street to the nearest mosk.” In a fit of grief, that’s what Joshua does and kills everyone inside. A week later, Joshua has lost his identity and been given a new one in the French Foreign Legion… “fighting anywhere in the world.”
After nearly six years, Joshua… now Guy… finds himself in Bosnia. The year is 1993. The conflict between Serbs and Muslims leaves no family untouched. There are no heroes… only fighters and victims. Guy is sick to death of this conflict. He’s sick to death of the senseless brutality. When a prisoner exchange includes a very pregnant woman named Vera, his Serbian partner wants to punish her for getting raped by a Muslim. After kicking her brutally in the stomach, he takes out his gun to shoot her. But Guy shoots him instead. Vera goes into labor and Guy helps her deliver a baby girl. When Vera wants nothing to do with the child, Guy is forced to help more than he really wanted to. Guy wants to return Vera to her parents, but that turns out to be impossible. He wants to take her to a refugee camp, but getting there means traveling through war-torn Bosnia, where you never know whom the enemy is.
This is a very brutal film that makes us feel the insanity of ethnic war. It’s not big military actions; it’s neighbors against neighbors. As an outsider, Guy sees no difference between Serbs and Muslims. As we watch the film, it’s hard for us to distinguish between them, and that’s intentional on the part of the Bosnian filmmakers. Unlike WWII, these messy, confusing wars don’t easily lend themselves to good story telling. This is one of the films that does. It tries to be a story about redemption. That aspect may not be as successful as the rest of it, but it’s still an impactful film with a compelling story.
3 popped kernels
Popped kernels for a good script with a lot to think about. We really care about the characters.