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EXILE IN SARAJEVO

SYNOPSIS:
This feature length documentary is a personal account of the siege of Sarajevo from the point of view of a Bosnian Australian, Tahir Cambis, who spent the last six months of the war filming the conflict and its effects on the civilian population. The two main subjects in the film are a Sarajevo family whose young daughter is killed a day after she is filmed in a dance competition; and an 8 year old girl, Amira, whose eye witness account of murder and rape becomes a diary of catharsis.

"Exile to Sarajevo is more than a documentary that takes a sober look at a courageous city with strength and soul. It is a personal journey for film maker Tahir Cambis: this is his private catharsis, as he comes to terms with his past and culture. We can marvel at the strength and resistance of the human spirit at the people of Sarajevo through severe hardship. The tragedy of war loss takes a heavy toll, but we can see glimpses of a city of light and a life before war and devastation, where the spirit and pride of the people as a nation shines through gloriously. It is a film that grapples with many issues, and puts its own point of view forward. The footage is often rough, but the effect engaging and immediate. Cambisí passion is immense, and the matter-of-fact way he deals with his own personal events is especially moving, not by things that are said, but by things that are not. The childís diary is overwhelmingly affecting, and the futility of war is never out of our minds. Exile is a thought-provoking film: a stirring and touching experience that should not be missed."
Louise Keller

"We watch the new bulletins from the front, and even the most graphic of these are dissolved with the following item; gone in seconds. We donít really register. Thatís why films like Exile in Sarajevo are important. They may be the saddest films you see, but also the most valuable Ė they help us to remember things we shouldnít ever have to know. Exile looks and sounds like a home video, but that only adds to the power of its message: the "ethnic cleansing" excuse for the savagery in Sarajevo was a public relations success for the evil among us. Those who proferred a city divided along ethnic lines. Cambis dissuades us of that notion, and he should know: his family come from there. It has always been a fairly harmonious multi-ethnic city, Cambis insists. But this is the final note, and before he teaches us this, Cambis covers much of the anguish of civil war. Itís been done before, and itís probably been done better, but rarely has it been done with the relevance of an Australian perspective. Cambis left the safety of Melbourne for the horrors of this war, and reported what he saw, what he felt, what he wanted, as a Bosnian Australian."
Andrew L. Urban

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EXILE IN SARAJEVO (M)
(Australia)

DIRECTORS: Tahir Cambis, Alma Sahbaz

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Roman Baska

EDITOR: Bill Murphy

PRODUCER: Tom Zubrycki

RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Exile Productions

SYDNEY & PERTH RELEASE: October 2, 1997

MELBOURNE & ADELAIDE RELEASE: October 9, 1997







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