Bill Carter on besieged Sarajevo: I did not think it was possible

Bill Carter is well-known for the documentary film “Miss Sarajevo”, which is made of amateur video material that was recorded during the siege of Sarajevo.

He was able to make an interview with Bono Vox from the U2 group, which resulted in a great concert of this famous group in Sarajevo back in 1997.

“I wish I could say that I had some fantastic plan, but I did not. I came to Croatia, Split, in March 1993. I knew that I wanted to get involved, I wanted to do something, but I did not know what that meant exactly. I was naive to think that I could do something, that it is a good thing to do, but I did not know how, so I got involved in the circus that travelled to Sarajevo back then. And as we all know it now, the trip from Split to Sarajevo at that time was hell of a journey! That is how I went there and to be completely honest, I was there for two weeks, delivering food and that was it. Then I thought to go, because I felt so helpless. And I could go and never come back, but then I met Lejla and Selma, who are featured in my movie, which was the first connection with the people in this city. And when I got connected with them and their families, I started connecting with more people,” said Carter.

“Yes, I saw a bigger picture, I started educating myself about what was actually happening, about what I feel. I mean, I cannot leave now! What, to go home? I was so involved at the time and I knew that I will not leave until I understand what and how! And I started recording very simple scenes, I had no illusion of making a real movie, because it was very expensive to record a movie at that time. And I did not even know what to do with those shots, but I just wanted to record people.”

“When you spend some time in war, you understand something. And this is not a small thing! If you manage to keep some humour in the darkest times, this represents a powerful human resistance. And I even met people who lost their spirit and who were hiding for three years, but there are so many of those who kept it, they continued to visit artistic exhibitions, they continued going on music events, I have many friends’ musicians. I never even thought that this was possible. I was in conflict zones all over the world, as a free traveller, but never like this,” stated Carter.

“I think that the survival instinct tells you that, let’s say if you’re sitting on a couch depressed and scared, not to do it. Therefore, you need to be sarcastic with everything that is happening and share it with your friends in order to survive. Laughter is a very powerful tool of resistance. I think Bosnia truly represents that!”

(Source: N1)

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