Serbia to Invest 20 Million Euro in Movie about Jasenovac?

By 15 May 2018

Hollywood stars might be involved in the production.

According to the Serbian daily Novosti, the Serbian government, following an initiative made by Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, is ready to finance a grand movie project about the suffering of Serbs, Jews and Roma at the Jasenovac concentration camp, reports Jutarnji List on May 15, 2018.

Sources say that the government is planning to allocate up to 20 million euro to make a feature film about the Ustasha camp during the times of the Nazi-puppet Independent State of Croatia. The project is expected to include prominent filmmakers, including some famous Hollywood names. Sources close to the Serbian state leadership explain that Serbia has decided on this step at this moment because, thanks to fiscal consolidation, it is finally able to allocate the money for such a demanding project.

Until now, no one in the Serbian film industry has ever dared to make a feature film about the Jasenovac tragedy. A few years ago, Serbian actor Tihomir Stanić presented his idea about a movie on the Jasenovac concentration camp, and he proposed Đorđe Kadijević as a director. The reason was that Kadijević has a Croat mother and a Serb father, while he considers himself to be a Yugoslav.

“The project was supposed to be financed by Republika Srpska, an entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but Stanić had to give up due to threats which came from Croatia. This film is more needed now than ever before and had to be filmed long ago. But it is difficult to cover this subject without falling into the trap of chauvinism. Jasenovac is a tragedy which, in terms of human evil, cannot be compared with anything else in the world. This was hell on Earth, a planetary point where the evil reached its maximum and lasted for four years,” said Kadijević.

In his opinion, the horrors at this camp were worse even than those at Auschwitz, because the Germans there killed their victims in a few minutes with poisonous gas, while at Jasenovac the victims were exposed to horrible torture, with torturers competing among themselves who will be more “imaginative” in killings, Kadijević noted.

Earlier this year, the Serbian government organised an exhibition on Jasenovac at the United Nations headquarters in New York, which caused protests from Croatia, which claimed that Serbia misrepresented the facts.