[framed] documentary film series: Sarajevo Roses
What happens when a modern society implodes? Imagine waking up to find society collapsed: stores shuttered, electricity and water shut off, no food or medicine, neighbors become enemies and fighting in the streets. That's what happened in the city of Sarajevo, only eight years after hosting the 1984 Winter Olympic games.
These are stories of Sarajevo: a surgeon turned psychiatrist to understand and heal his PTSD; a tuxedo-clad cellist playing for the dead at massacre sites; a young woman immortalized in a photograph as she flees a sniper's bullet; and children struggling to survive in an orphanage near the frontline. When Josip Broz, aka Tito, the benevolent dictator of the federation of Yugoslavia, died on May 4, 1980, nobody had an inkling of the bloodshed and ruin to come. In early 1992, a referendum on independence took Bosnia down the path to war.
During the four-year siege of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, the longest of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of artillery, mortar and tank shells were fired into the city from the surrounding hills. As each exploded, it left a crater in concrete resembling a flower. Citizens stoically painted these "pavement petals" red and called them Sarajevo roses. Some remain today, fading reminders of innocent blood that was spilled on these streets, in this once all-embracing city. The Sarajevo rose represents the impact of the war on the lives of these individuals and all citizens of Sarajevo.
At its heart, Sarajevo Roses is a meditation on the search for inner peace and recovery after experiencing PTSD from the horrors of war; how the neighbor next door is capable of committing the most inhuman acts; and personal testimony that love, and living fully in the present, are the best we can hope for as human beings. Important lessons for a troubled world.
The survivors are bound through the lens of Sarajevo Roses director and producer Roger M. Richards, an award-winning filmmaker and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominated photojournalist who was in Sarajevo at the height of the conflict and has witnessed and filmed its restoration on numerous returnsand who is thus uniquely positioned to share the tragedy's impact on a great people and a very special place.
The Honorable Patricia Whalen, who served as a judge in the International War Crimes Tribunal of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo and Bill Holiday, a career local history teacher who has traveled and researched in the former Yugoslavia & Sarajevo, will lead a post-screening discussion.
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15 Kimball Hill Rd
Putney, VT 05346
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