Taking sides in the conflicts in the Balkans is often more difficult than it seems at first glance, so several very interesting films have dealt with this problem. This article mainly deals with Kristijan Milić’s feature film The Living and the Dead (Živi i mrtvi, 2007), a Croatian-Bosnian co-production depicting the “hushed histories” of the wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina: World War II in the 1940s and the war of the 1990s. Pointing to a similar concept of dealing with ethnic conflicts and “hushed histories” in the earlier “partisan films” directed by Antun Vrdoljak (particularly in When You Hear the Bells [Kad čuješ zvona, 1969]), the article explains the strategies in Kristijan Milić’s film that point out the difficulties in negotiating identities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the narrative strategies used to prevent the viewers from easily taking sides with military, ethnic or political phenomena represented on the screen. The article also examines the key concepts of discussing the cultural situation and art relating to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The integral version of this article can be found in the printed KINO!