Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Clouds Over Bijeljina

Bosniak and Serb friends describe how they resisted divisions caused by conflict.

This film portrays the strong bond between two men from Bijeljina – Jusuf Trbic, a Bosniak, and Djordje Krstic, a Serb – which endured the harshest of tests when violence engulfed this town in northeast Bosnia in 1992.

Serb paramilitaries of Zeljko Raznatovic – better known as Arkan – arrived in Bijeljina in April that year. Trbic, a radio journalist, was marched to Arkan’s headquarters, where his life hung in the balance.

Seeing civilians lying where they had been killed in the streets, he said, “I felt like I was in the middle of an ugly dream.”

After escaping execution, Trbic sought refuge with Krstic, who swore that he and his family would lay down their lives before allowing him to be harmed. He sees it as a kind of justice that Krstic’s son, a Bosnian Serb combatant, had his life saved by a Bosniak doctor when he was captured and injured later in the conflict.

This film was produced by IWPR and Mebius Film to mark the 20th anniversary of the start of war in Bosnia, under IWPR's Programme for the Western Balkans and ICTY, funded by the Norwegian government.

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