Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Seven Lillies: A Story of Sarajevo

SEVEN LILLIES introduces Adnan Rustempasic, a gentle man who was forced to pick up a gun when the Serbs began raining artillery shells down on Sarajevo. Adnan spent much of the siege helping defend a bitterly-disputed piece of territory, the Vrbanja (ver-ban-ya) bridge in the center of Sarajevo. The bridge, spanning the Miljacka (mil-yat-ska) river that runs through the city, separated the Serbs and the Bosnians and was a strategically important part of the city. The two sides faced each other and traded sniper and mortar fire from gutted buildings on both banks of the river. The area in front was a no-man's-land and designated free-fire zone. Anything that moved was shot. Scores of fighters on both sides died here, and the Serbs realized that their attempts to capture the bridge had ended in a bloody stalemate. It became a war of attrition, where both Serb and Bosnian soldiers fought to stay alive.

Seven Lillies--A documentary film by Roger M. Richards

SEVEN LILLIES also takes us to the infamous Lion cemetery, where Serb snipers and artillery gunners targeted citizens gathered to bury their dead. A woman cleans the grave of the famous Bosnian film director Hajrudin Šiba Krvavac.

One summer day in 1993, about 1½ years after the beginning of the siege, Adnan Rustempasic was home from the frontline at his apartment. A neighbor's child knocked on his door and asked if Adnan's young son, Sanjin (san-yin), could come out to play in the courtyard of the apartment building. He said yes, as the day had been relatively quiet as far as the Serb shelling of the city was concerned. Four-year-old Sanjin and a group of playmates were having a good time, making good use of their opportunity to play outside as parents tried as much as possible to keep their children indoors for safety from snipers and shells.

This was the day when Adnan's life changed forever.

Produced and Directed by Roger M. Richards.

No comments: