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Even Fidel Castro, far from schmoozing with Jack Lemmon, missed the event entirely. As a concession to the Cuban population, the content of the festival has shifted markedly as well. Where in the s the Wlms shown were almost exclusively Latin American, now European, Asian, and even American Wlms form a major presence.

The reason: the country lacks the money to procure these Wlms for regular theatrical runs, so if they were not brought in for the festival, Cuban audiences would not get to see them at all. In Turan-B1J. Half a century ago, when Guevara was an undergraduate leader at Havana University, he took the advice of friends and sought out someone new on campus. Also, since Guevara believed that ICAIC should be run by Wlmmakers and not bureaucrats, the institute gave Cuban writers and directors something unusual among state-run Wlm systems: the ability to have give-and-take discussions about what can and cannot be Wlmed.

Filled with inside references that only Cubans noticed, the picture not only treated homosexuality sympathetically for the Wrst time, it also called passionately for tolerance of all diVerences of opinion.

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Is subtle repression at work here, the exercise of personal taste by the powerful Guevara, or a combination of both? The answer depends on whom you ask. For most Cuban Wlmmakers, however, the more pressing problem is getting Wlms made at all. Things are so grim, in fact, it is surprising to see any Wlm production at all. Given the credit are a tradition of Wghting windmills plus the goad of hard times. Now it is my hope that there will be a new Utopia here. Universally known by his nickname of Titon, the thensixty-seven-year-old director talks with diYculty he was to die of cancer a year later , but everything he says resonates with thought and feeling.

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Because if you lose your dignity, you lose everything. This was the city that survived the longest siege of modern history, more than forty-six months of exhausting, terrifying shelling and sniping from the surrounding Serb-controlled hills that damaged or destroyed 60 percent of its buildings. Approximately ten thousand died, , Xed, and those that remained did without much of what we like to consider essential.

Often there was no communication with the outside world, no electricity, no power but foot power, and the city became ironically known as one big Stairmaster. There was no water for bathing or grooming, so people would show visitors photographs of how they looked before the 89 Turan-B1J. And there was so little food during the siege that the average person lost close to twenty-Wve pounds. What was going on here? While visits to more conventional festivals like Cannes or Sundance concentrate on rooting out what is new and diVerent, the award-winners and trend-setters, Sarajevo promised a chance to examine the uses and purposes of Wlm at ground zero, to get at the core of how the medium works and what it can mean to people no matter what their circumstances.

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This is after all the Balkans, where nothing is straightforward and everything becomes politicized, where World Turan-B1J. Remember and Warn! More typical are the thoughts of director Ademir Kenovic, who stayed in Sarajevo during the war and whose The Perfect Circle, the Wrst Wlm shot in the city after the cease-Wre, debuted at Cannes and opened the festival. A place with passionate Wlm buVs like Dzeilana Pecanin.

Other girls were getting married, but I was in love with Robert De Niro and nobody else was good enough. When Raging Bull opened, me and a colleague took shifts queuing up for tickets on an incredibly long line so we could see it opening night. Everybody was ready to queue for hours, in the rain or the snow, for a movie.

A war that made a special target of Sarajevo. Remarkably recovered from the destruction it experienced but not yet free of memories of the past and a sense that the future is not secure, it is simultaneously exhilarating and depressing, depending on your point of view. The streets are surely safer than many in America, but landmines remain in the hills. Signs for Calvin Klein and an upcoming U-2 concert compete for space with announcements about de-mining.

The much-shelled Holiday Inn, press headquarters during the war, looks completely new, but the high-rise building that housed Oslobodjenje remains a gaunt, ruined scarecrow. If audiences felt more than slightly surreal as they sat and watched wide-screen Wctional representations of their former devastation, they were not about to let on. Those that wanted to kill the spirit of Sarajevo did not succeed.

When the annual Yugoslavian national Wlm festival was held in an enormous Roman amphitheater in Pula now in Croatia , Tito was often found on a nearby island, and boats would shuttle key Wlms out to him every night. Some directors, like Emir Kusturica, left the city. With bootleg cassette copies supplied by visiting journalists or international aid workers, Sarajevo TV stations would broadcast the same Wlm dozens of times.

Watching it would completely take you back, you could completely escape from the horrors of reality for two hours. All other, shall we say nice activities, completely died out. It was really hard, many people missed it as much as bread.

It was like being in jail but worse, because even in jail there are new faces with cruel stories that could be interesting to hear. In Sarajevo, no one was coming in, and you heard the same stories from neighbors so often it was very possible you were going to one day kill your neighbor. Everyone tried to make some kind of trip out of reality, and everyone wanted to be part of a group. Sharon Stone naked in Basic Instinct, no big comment. But there was a dinner scene in the Wlm that got two minutes of applause.

What was going on in Belgrade, everyone wanted to know, who was working and what were they up to? They hate him here; they treat him like a traitor.


There was no Yugoslavian national holiday in because by then a viable Yugoslavia no longer existed. With scenes of Serbian soldiers looting and laying waste to Muslim villages, it was the Wrst Wlm to show Serbs in any kind of negative light and as such was a sensation in Belgrade and environs, with far and away the most admissions of any Wlm of the year. They were overwhelmed by it. The Wlm has been exhibited in small private screenings, but its share-the-blame philosophy has attracted hostility rather than acclaim from a city that was the victim of a brutal siege and never had an aggressive thought.

That cannot be considered as everyone is guilty. The more Kusturica thought, possibly naively, possibly with calculation, that he was refusing to take sides, stepping outside of politics by distancing himself from the Muslim nationalist party that ruled Bosnia, the more his actions placed him in the Serb camp.