It is not unusual that Sweden is proud of its citizens who originate from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Zlatan Ibrahimović is not the only Bosnian-Sweden sensation; there are also the former minister of education Aida Hadžialić and the captain of the Swedish national team in cooking and the most famous chef in that country, Edin Džemat.
Now we have the honor to meet Goran Kapetanović, a young film director whose movie My Aunt was included in this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival.
The first Bosnian to ever graduate from the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts arrived to Sarajevo, the city where he was born in 1974. Kapetanović said that the fact he spent first 17 years of his life in Sarajevo was crucial for the shaping of his artistic expression.
“Since my father is an electrical engineer and worked for one Swedish company before the war, we said ‘okay, let’s go to Sweden, for seven days or so, until the situation in Bosnia normalizes and then we will come back’. That was in 1992. Currently, more of my life is in Sweden than in BiH.
“I literally came with a pair of converse shoes. We lived in poverty at first, but I had that ‘street school’. Then I realized that the street and everything we experienced have a great influence on what I am doing and the way I am thinking. That is a greater philosophy than listening to lectures at a university. Of course, a lot depended on my parents, who are intellectuals. I had one stable grunt. Milorad Pavić said once: ‘I feel like a merchant – I buy things in the East and sell them in the West’,” Kapetanović said.
“All of this preceded the creation of the film My Aunt in Sarajevo, which has the symbolic of Sarajevo in its title. Sarajevo has a huge symbolic meaning for me, as well as everything that has happened in Europe, a responsibility. Word Sarajevo is not just a city.
Speaking of the film, Kapetanović said:
“The film was made for Swedish television, with a duration of 60 minutes. It is very difficult to build all characters within that timeframe, but I tried. The film is about a man who left Sarajevo due to very difficult reasons and decided to never come back and start a life somewhere else. However, when he got children, they started asking questions ‘who am I?’. then the daughter, who is 19 years old, says ‘let’s go to Sarajevo’. That is a road movie which shows the relationship between a father and a daughter”.
The film, in which humor and sadness intertwine, is currently screened in cinemas throughout Sweden, and the author was just notified that distributors extended the screening period for another week.
Goran Kapetanović said that Sweden is a country that gives equal chances to all its citizens who pay taxes, so it is not a rare thing that immigrants become prominent members of society:
“Each one of us has the right to decide what to do and how to do it. There are people who live in silence and work and the most important time of their life is the month when they return home. There are also those who opted to participate in the creation of the Swedish society. There are people who are doctors, and people who make films, too”.