The return to Bosnia to make a documentary “The Fog of Srebrenica” has awaken the old demons that still haunt Samir Mehmedović from Tuzla.
“I’ve tried to forget many things, but I couldn’t. Everytime I watch the film, I cry,” said Samir.
Samir’s eyes filled with tears as he spoke about the genocide in 1995. He was a witness of the killing of more than 8.000 Muslims by the Bosnian Serbs on July 11.
Young women were raped by soldiers, mothers are still mourning for their sons and husbands, and boys and men from 12 to 77 years of age were separated from women and mothers, taken to schools, fields and warehouses, before being systematically killed. This is the most horrifying crime in the history of the post-World War II Europe.
Around 23.000 women were deported by buses. Many of them were beaten and raped, while some of them had to march 27 kilometers to join refugees in Tuzla, Samir’s hometown.
“I remember when the convoy of buses arrived to Tuzla. We were wondering where all the men were. Tuzla was peaceful at the beginning, there was dead silence. And then the stories of horrifying executions and rapes started spreading,” Samir recalls.
Samir has been living in Edinburgh for 21 years now, but he advocates for remembering of the war that happened in his homeland. For that purpose, he made a film for the 20th anniversary of the genocide in Srebrenica, to warn young people that a crime like this must never happen again.
Samir’s film, made with a budget of 25.000 GBP, was broadcasted on BBC and won the Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Film festival in Amsterdam.
Samir’s brother was killed in 1993, but Samir refused to fight. Some of his neighbors Serbs joined the Army of the Republic of BiH. Others left to fight for the other side.
“One day you drink coffee together, the next day some of them go to fight for the other side. That’s treason,” said Samir.
Samir intends to make a film about Syrian refugees as well.
“I empathize with the Syrian people. No one cares about them. I am worried because I believe that every crisis in the world is my problem. What we testify to and not pay attention to can also happen to us,” Mehanović says.