28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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director: Damir Markovina
original title: Dezerteri
country: Croatia
year: 2022
running time: 44 min.


“I had many friends before the war; many of them are dead now”, one of the narrators comments, looking at a photo of her classmates. “We had a perfect life, but we were never satisfied,” she adds laconically. The secondary school in Mostar united them, the War of Independence divided them. This mosaic of memories of the early 1990s is composed of contemporary postcards and silent shots of places where wars were once fought. Their calmness today contrasts with the emotional excerpts from the letters of the Croatian students. They describe their flight across the border, their experiences in refugee camps, and their lingering hatred of the enemies who robbed them of their home and youth.

“They took everything from me, everything I had. They drove me from my home, robbed me, imprisoned my father, destroyed my city and everything I loved about it.”



Film, theatre and television actor, director, and producer Damir Markovina (* 1973) was born in Belgrade and later moved to Mostar. He studied acting and documentary directing in Zagreb. He has made two short documentaries, The Shift (2019) and Wait for Me (2021), both of which premiered at the Sarajevo festival.

more about film

director: Damir Markovina
producer: Damir Markovina
photography: Krešimir Štulina
editing: Dora Slakoper
sound: Miroslav Piškulić
skladatel: Manja Ristić
art director: Marko Tadić
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas