• James Rutherford

'Welcome to Sarajevo': An Engrossing Depiction of Journalists on the Frontline of the Bosnian War


“Welcome to Sarajevo” (1997) is a British war drama that follows a group of journalists stationed in Sarajevo in 1992, at the height of the Bosnian War. The film stars Stephen Dillane as Michael Henderson, an ITN reporter covering the Serb-Bosnian conflict alongside Flynn, a brash American photojournalist played by Woody Harrelson.


Henderson and Flynn's daily forays into the embattled streets of the city alternate with nights of hard drinking and friendly digressions, before Flynn is ultimately pulled into the plight of a young girl named Emira (Emira Nušević) who he encounters within a besieged orphanage and promises to save from peril.


Directed by Michael Winterbottom ("24 Hour Party People", "The Trip"), the film is intercut with authentic news footage of urban warfare on the streets of Sarajevo—delivering a raw and absorbing depiction of life and death on the front line. It's a remarkable account of historical conflict, astutely interweaving the horrors of war, moments of offhand levity and ever-so fleeting glimmers of hopefulness.

 

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