DARA OF JASENOVAC
TO REPRESENT SERBIA AT OSCARS
One of the last countries to select a film that will represent them in the race for best foreign film Oscars this year is Serbia - their representative will be
a deeply powerful and moving war drama DARA IN JASENOVAC directed by Predrag Antonijević. Based on the testimonies of survivors it is the first feature film that deals with war crimes and atrocities that took place at the World War Two Jasenovac concentration and extermination camp, which was part of the Holocaust in Croatia and the wider Genocide committed over Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia. The movie was set to premiere in early 2020, commemorating 75 years since the escape of the remaining prisoners from the camp. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the premiere was postponed to mid 2021. The movie will also be in the race for Golden Globes.
|The movie will air next year in Serbia|
THE STORY OF THE FILM IS SET
in the Nazi-occupied Croatian Ustasha regime "NDH" in former Yugoslavia during WWII. The film is told through the experiences of a little Serbian girl named Dara who is sent as a child to the infamous extermination camp
Jasenovac, also known as "Balkan's Auschwitz", when it was ruled by
sadistic Croat camp commander Maks Luburic until the liberation. The
film is the first modern WWII movie that takes place in or shows this
NDH era camp. The majority of local Serb population was sent to Croatian
With no information about whereabouts of her father, twelve-year-old
Dara (little Biljana Chekic), her mother and two brothers end up in
Jasenovac. Her mother and older brother get killed by Nazi Croats.
Dara makes it her personal mission and goal to insure the survival of
her younger brother.
|Considered a project of national importance, the film was supported by Serbian Ministry of Culture|
|Little Biljana Chekic plays the lead role in the heartbreaking drama|
DEZZY'S HISTORY LESSON
Notorious for its barbaric practices and the large number of victims, Jasenovac specialized in violence of a particularly brutal kind and prisoners were primarily murdered manually with the use of blunt objects such as
hammers or knives and axes. In Jasenovac the majority of victims were ethnic Serbs (as part of the Genocide of the Serbs); others were Jews and Gypsies. Jasenovac was a complex of five subcamps spread over 210 km2 on
both banks of the Sava and Una rivers. Although the official number of people killed in the camp is around 100,000, many researchers believe that the real number could be as high as 700,000 and even up to one million victims. Serbian children were killed first even if they were still breastfed by their
mothers. Croatia was the only Nazi country in Europe which had special camps for kids, mostly Serbian ones. Beside being butchered, they were often put in sacks and thrown into the river, burnt alive in brick factories or had their throats slit.
|The brutality seen in Jasenovac is unparalleled to any other camp|
|American Scholar Michael Berenbaum served as history consultant|
|The 130 minute long epic drama was directed by Predrag Antonijevic|