As far as I know, Charlie Chaplin has never been to Bosnia. Plus, as part a contractual clause by his studio, Charlie Chaplin wasn´t allowed to volunteer in a war, either. Instead, in 1917 he publicly declared his patriotic disposition and, in 1947, even his very own war. On Hollywood, that is. Because Hoover´s House Committee on Un-American Activities had attempted to withdraw Charlie Chaplin – being a reputed communist - his residence permit. In 2011 finally, he may enter, our Mr. Chaplin. Not into war, that is, but into Bosnian cinema at least. Just his car he has to cede at the Bosnian border crossing - to a rigorous border official, who actually happens to be a German actor otherwise being found riding his bike along the beach of Lake Baikal. That´s how it is once you start asking about reality in Bosnia.
Out of the Sarajevo sky there´s rain falling. A lot of rain. While stuffing my wet shoes with Wednesday´s Jutarnji List, I´m struck by a headline covering Kosovo, the Serbs and a KFOR-Helicopter. Having put the sports pages in my left shoe and Amy Winehouse in the right, entering the three words into google reveals there has been an armed conflict at a Kosovo-Serbian frontier post, in course of which a KFOR helicopter has been shot at. At the very same time in Sarajevo there´s minefields, ruined facades and the graves of Gorazde and Srebrenica flickering over the big screens while international staff has once more taken over the city, outdaring the rain under Sarajevska-parasols, trying to order local beer and exchanging their own stories - it´s Sarajevo Film Festival.
25 minutes does it take the trolley bus 103 to Dobrinja, passing buregdzinicas, supermarkets and cafes, in front of which smoking guys are unconcernedly watching the passing bus, out of which I´m concernedly watching the guys unconcernedly staring through the bus and me. At the terminal stop N. is waiting for me; N., who is going to take me to one of those blocks of flats at the end of Dobrinja, within sight of Mount Igman, one of those blocks the boy from Ahmed Imamovic´s „10 minutes“ could have been running out of. In the center of Sarajevo they´re a tourist attraction, them Sarajevo roses, concrete scars caused by a mortar shells, filled with red resin. In Dobrinja no one has cast tinted resin in wounded facades.
On the screen the protagonist is shown as young warrior, she has been wounded, the shell splinters still in her flesh, she´s telling with a challenging smile. None of the hunger-struck inhabitants of Gorazde could have donated her blood, the ones who physically could have all fighting in the front line, the front line being some mudhole in the hills around Gorazde. In the end it´s her commander who´ll be donating his blood, to whom she owes it that today, in a flowered dress, she´s overviewing Gorazde from this hill, telling her story, a story forcing liveliness through all the layers of makeup on her face. Then there´s dark silhouettes casting a shade on those spirited eyes, silhouettes rushing to the exit between the big screen and the projector. Young people with festival listels around their neck and with war parents in the flats of Sarajevo are leaving the cinema, are leaving Gorazde today, will be leaving Srebrenica 2 days later, by leaving the movie theater, passing black uniformed security guards besieging Sarajevo to protect the film festival. Like N.´s father-in-law, who did not leave Sarajevo in 1993 ff., has been protecting his flat block in Dobrinja, in which no Sarajevo rose is implanted, just in some staircase area´s concrete lining someone has planted some carnose-leaved, sickishly green seedlings, without knowing whatever will become of them.
I´m sure there´s people leaving some movie, some cinema right this moment, whilst a floor underneath me a woman is having an orgasm and Fantablue, Florian Geyer and DieAntwortlautet42 are discussing guilt, international law and crimes against humanity at Spiegel online on the occasion of the Jarinje border conflict and the UN´s Security Council refuses to have a special session on it, while in the cinema people are getting up, leaving Gorazde and Srebrenica behind, while I´m sitting on a cemetery wall, some hundred graves in my back, eating Sarajevo´s best pizza bought at Mahir´s sales window on the opposite site of the street. One of those resting behind me, not leaving anymore, is Alija Izetbegovic, Bosnia and Hercegovina´s first president, whose movie is not easily to be left now that almost any Bosnian town, any Bosnian village, has its´ own Alija-Izetbegovic-street; not to be left like V. left Sarajevo as a refugee in 1993, today voluntarily returning to the Bosnian cinema, with her own film. Black and white and without spoken language. Can´t open your mouth in Bosnia without making a statement, even when only ordering bread or wishing good appetite or saying hello. So V. leaves her Charlie Chaplin voiceless in his attempt to enter Bosnia, approaching the frontier post in 30s´ black-and-white-aesthetics, while in Jarinje KFOR-posts are securing the border-crossing between Serbia and Kosovo and in Sarajevo people are leaving cinemas in which frontier posts are burning and roses are planted into concrete.