Look at the photo from last night’s opening of the 23rd festival in Sarajevo. Surrounded by appartment buildings, a huge screen, a red carpet and how many spectators – thousands? – to watch Aki Kaurismäki’s ”On the Other Side of Hope”, the right choice for an opening film: It is an excellent piece of work by the Finnish auteur, it is about the most pressing issue in today’s Europe, how do we welcome refugees, who want to live in our countries – in a superb mix of humour and seriousness, and for someone like me from the North: this is also Finland as it used to be, flavoured by wonderful music performances. How lucky we northeners are to have original directors as Roy Andersson and Aki Kaurismäki. Enjoyed to be there with people smoking on our row, with a technical fault that gave a break, with a brilliant atmosphere. Open air screening. My wife and I were back at the hotel at midnight.
Before that – with good friend from Bolzano Georg Zeller and his girl friend Azra Frchko, raised in Sarajevo – we had meze at a restaurant facing the National Library, destroyed in 1992 and now restored to be the Town Hall of Sarajevo, a beauty, currently with an exhibition of paintings by local master Mersad Berber.
The bridge to the theme ”Dealing with the Past”, a focus of the festival.