Death in Sarajevo (Smrt U Sarajevu)

Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Running Time:85 min.
Premiere Status:US
Director:Danis Tanovic
Producer:Francois Margolin
Amra Bakšic Camo
Screenwriter:Danis Tanovic
Cinematographer:Erol Zubcevic
Editor:Redzinald Simek
Cast:Jacques Weber
Snežana Vidovic
Izudin Bajrovic
Vedrana Seksan
Muhamed Hadžovic
Print Source:The Match Factory
Note Writer:Joe Bowman


This scintillating, complex portrait of national identity crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Danis Tanovic (No Man’s Land) transpires over the course of a single, chaotic afternoon at a grand hotel in Sarajevo. In Altmanesque fashion, the hotel staff, who are on the verge of a strike after nearly two months of working without being paid, prepare to welcome European Union delegates to an event commemorating the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, the incident which served as the catalyst for World War I. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, Tanovic’s thoroughly engaging ensemble drama captures multiple layers of disparity, expanding beyond the hotel and its disgruntled personnel to the nation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the collective countries in the Balkan Peninsula, and the European Union.

Additional Information

Death In Sarajevo
is Danis Tanovic’s seventh feature film, and actually his first shot entirely in his hometown of Sarajevo. Danis last feature, Tigers, was shot in India with Bollywood superstar Emraan Hamshi as a salesman who begins a dangerous battle against his company when he discovers that their baby formula is killing children. The tense drama made its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. His previous feature, An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, won two Silver Bears at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival. Tanovic’s 2001 debut feature No Man’s Land won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. The film received over 40 international awards, making it one of the most awarded first feature films in history.