Georg Larsen & Kasper Vedsmand: Massakren i Dvor

The film, produced by Final Cut for Real with Croatian Sinisa Juricic, Nukleus as co-producer had its world premiere at the recent Sarajevo Film Festival in a special programme section called ”20 Years – dealing with the Past”. And has been shown on Serbian television – 870.000 viewers! The film now has its Danish premiere September 4 in 6 different cities (link below) in Denmark, with panel debates, to be followed later by a broadcast on Danish TV2. This post includes the English description of the film from the site of the producer and a Danish language review.

“Only a few meters from a Danish UN Camp in Dvor, Croatia, nine disabled people, both Serbs and Croats, were executed in cold blood by a group of unidentified men on August the 8th 1995. The Danish soldiers in Camp Dannevirke were assigned by the United Nations to monitor the ceasefire between the Serbs and the Croats. They were only allowed to use weapons in self-defense. In the summer of 1995, the Croatian Army ceasefire broke and about 250,000 Serbs were forced to flee during “Operation Storm”. Once there was no longer a ceasefire to monitor, the soldiers were ordered to stay inside their camp and not interfere in the war. It was therefore up to one Danish officer, to make the crucial decision: to give orders to shoot or follow the UN mandate and not intervene. The film follows the former company commander Kold on his journey back to Croatia, to the place where he 20 years earlier had to make the most difficult decision in his life. Here he confronts his past and his decision, meets the commanders from the warring parties, and the relatives of the victims. He is forced to face difficult questions: Could he have stopped the massacre? Did he have a choice? Or was he, the Danish soldiers and the civilians actually let down by the United Nations?”

Vurdering: Der er specielt én scene i denne fint fortalte dokumentarfilm, som sætter sig. Jørgen Kold, som var kompagnichef i Camp Dannevirke, og Villy Bøgelund, som

efterforskede massakren for FN, går tavst rundt i aulaen (foto) i skolen, hvor de ni handicappede blev likvideret. Bøgelund har sin rapport i hånden og med den som vejledning placerer de stole på de steder, hvor de dræbte faldt sammen på gulvet eller på en stol eller i en kørestol. Som tilskuer fornemmer du, hvad der løber gennem hovedet på dem. Ingen ord er nødvendige.

Filmen er klippet sammen efter princippet dengang og nu, der er brugt arkivmateriale fra ”Operation Storm” og materiale optaget af soldaterne i lejren, som var oprettet for at holde øje med at serberne og kroaterne overholdt våbenhvilen, som kroaterne brød. Og filmen følger Kold og Bøgelund rundt til samtaler, der bliver svære for Kold.

Kold havde fået besked på at blive i lejren og kun bruge våben i tilfælde af selvforsvar. Han og hans soldater blev vidner til den frygtelige massakre – han er taget tilbage med Bøgelund for at prøve at finde ud af, hvem der stod bag massakren. Det bliver til hårde møder for den sympatiske mand, som har fået ar på sjælen efter massakren, hvor han og hans soldater ikke greb ind selvom udåden fandt sted lige ved siden af lejren. En kvinde som fulgte med de handicappede fra det psykiatriske hospital til Dvor fortæller, at der var sendt signaler til de danske soldater om hjælp, Kold siger, at det er nyt for ham. Hun tror ham ikke. Den serbiske militærchef anklager Kold for ikke at have grebet ind, Kold forsvarer sig med, at han var underlagt FN-mandatet – I kunne jo have tænkt og handlet selv, er reaktionen fra den serbiske general.

Hvor er det godt, at denne historie er blevet til en ordentlig film og respekt for soldat Kold, der stiller op og tager ned til stedet, som ændrede hans liv. En film om at bære rundt på et frygteligt dilemma: Skulle/kunne jeg have handlet anderledes?      

Foto: Jan Wellendorf

http://www.final-cut.dk/films2.php?mit_indhold_id=3&films_id=24

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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