The Bridge at the End of the World by B. Istvancic in Montpellier

time: 27.10.2011. - 28.10.2011.
place: Montpellier, France
'The Bridge at the End of the World', new film by Branko Istvancic and Irena Skoric, was selected for the Development Grant at the Cinemed Festival in Montpellier, France, which is taking place on 27th and 28th October.

Since 1991, the Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival has been awarding the Development Aid Grant for feature films projects thanks to the Centre national de la cinématographie, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the International Organization of French-speaking Communities, the Région Languedoc-Roussillon, the Association Beaumarchais, Kodak and Laboratoires Éclair.
20 projects have been selected this year and will be presented by the directors and/or the producers in public on October 27 and 28 in front of a jury composed by professionals.

The 2011 jury: Monique Carcaud-Macaire (maître de conférence en cinéma et audiovisuel, université Paul-Valéry Montpellier), Nadège Hasson (producer, Explicit Films), Béryl Peillard (screenplay writer), Philippe Faucon (director).

Summary of the The Bridge at the End of the World

The war has ended. Villages of Bosnian Croats have been destroyed, and they are living in the homes of the Croatian Serbs. An old man, a Bosnian Croat, disappears. A policeman Filip, himself living in a Serbian home, investigates the case uninterestedly. Through the relationship with his father, Filip tries to understand the motives of the missing old man. As the film moves towards the end, Filip's investigation becomes more and more personal.

Although the war has ended and there is no direct danger of getting killed or suffering terror, the survivors are left with burned down houses and villages, destroyed lives and cemeteries. It is high time the life stabilizes and that the refugees return home. Whole villages of Bosnian Croats are destroyed; those who have survived are living in the houses of Croatian Serbs who have been exiled from Croatia. By the government's Act on the Units of Particular Care of the State, the original owners of the Serbian houses are to return to their homes, and the Croats residing in these houses are faced with uncertainty.

The intolerance towards the Serbs is present everywhere. They are welcomed with machine-gun bursts. In this scary atmosphere, an old man, a Bosnian Croat called Jozo, disappears, gets lost without a trace. A policeman named Filip, he himself living in a Serbian house, is in charge of the case. Though it is believed that Jozo has been killed by a returned Serb, Filip devotedly starts the investigation without taking notice of the stories. He tries to stay objective and fair, although haunted by the ghosts from his own past and struggling with the hate of the Serbs.

Investigating the case he realizes how much the war has altered the people struggling with their bleak everyday lives. He finds out that the old man Jozo got into a fight with his son Dragan for wanting to sell his accordion for next to nothing. Jozo managed to hide it. The story, subsequently, focuses on the resting place in the woods that the missing old man had built and later on set to fire. Filip in the search for the evidence realizes the resting place was to be a bridge. Jozo's nephew tells Filip that their ancestor had built a bridge in Bosnia as a grace for having survived a long battle and as a, like any bridge, symbol of connecting people.

They called it the bridge at the end of the world because when gazing from the bench built by the ancestor, it seemed as though nothing was on the opposite side. Filip, having realized certain things, mostly by observing his own father, sets off to Bosnia to find Jozo. He finds him dead sitting on a bench in front of the bridge, with the accordion hanging from his shoulder. Filip sits beside him. He looks over the bridge realizing it really seems as though there isn't anything across. Only nothingness.

(I.P., 12.10.2011)