John Cleese: Bosnian Humor is as efficient as Monty Python’s

August 18, 2017 3:30 PM

The legendary British comedian and star of Monty Python John Cleese, who was awarded a Honorary Heart of Sarajevo last light, in an exclusive interview for revealed how he had a wish to come to Sarajevo, which he wants to get to know. He emphasized how the understood that Bosnian humor is efficient and said that healthy humor should lead us through life.

This is your second time in Sarajevo and this time you’re a special guest of Sarajevo Film Festival and the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo was awarded to you. At the ceremony, you joked with the audience in your own peculiar way. How did you feel?
I had a wish to come to Sarajevo and I’m flattered by the fact that I was honored with the film award. I didn’t think I deserved it, since I had seven or eight main roles in movies in my life. On the other hand, I enjoyed having 3,000 people laugh at my joke that people in Sarajevo were shot at earlier, too. I thought that it was a good joke and I felt very nice and good after people started laughing. I was very touched that people in BiH understood my humor and I understood at the same time that your humor is also efficient, just like Monty Python’s humor

You arrived in Sarajevo two days ago. Where were you, what places did you visit?
Yes, I arrived on Tuesday evening. Yesterday’s day began with a visit to the Jewish cemetary. I had luck since my host was the Oscar-winning Danis Tanovic, who told me all sorts of sad, but at the same time extraordinary and brave, stories. It’s unbelievable what Bosnians and Herzegovinians went through during four years of war. When you hear stories and visit those places, you feel all of that on a deeper level than when you read about it in the newspapers. I’m fascinated by the mix of different cultures and I’d like to walk through the older part of town where there’s still a part of the Ottoman spirit. I’d also like to visit the Tunnel of Life and, afterwards, just wonder around town since that’s how you see the most interesting things.

Last night, you spoke about how you were touched by the fact that Sarajevo Film Festival started during the occupation. How important is SFF and is humor our biggest weapon?
The idea of people who are living under sniper fire in a city under siege to gather on one place and show moves is unbelievable. I wouldn’t say that humor is our biggest weapon, but rather our most positive opportunity to make hard times easier and more bearable.



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