Illona Weiss Synagogue
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    Jewish Cultural Center "Arie Livne"
Monday, 25 January 2016 23:09

A projection of the documentary movie “Dah života“ (“A Breath of Life”)

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The documentary movie “Dah života“ (“A Breath of Life“) directed by Snježana Brezo was presented to many guests some of which are the president of Jewish Municipality of Banja Luka Arie Livne, the President of Republic of Srpska Milorad Dodik, the president of Academy of Sciences and Arts of Republic of Srpska Rajko Kuzmanović, Police director Gojko Vasić, the former president of National Assembly of Republic of Srpska Momčilo Krajišnik, the former principal of Yugoslav Film Archive in Belgrade Božidar Zečević, the director of the University Clinical Center of Banja Luka Mirko Stanetić, the representatives of media and public life of the city and Republic of Srpska. A movie theme is a frightful event from 1992 when the newly born babies in the Clinical Center in Banja Luka lost the right to live. Namely, the United Nations decided to lift an embargo on oxygen delivery, which was necessary for the newborns which needed to spend specific time in incubators. Twelve babies died several days after birth. “The Thirteenth Little Star” Slađana Kobas lived for thirteen years and a hero of this movie, Marko Medaković, survived by accident, but was left with permanent health damage.

A movie about the drama which overcomes the humans’ power

Dah zivotaThe President of Jewish Municipality of Banja Luka Arie Livne thanked the guests for the visit and said the Center welcomes all the events which are of importance for the reinforcement of Republic of Srpska’s position but also those which contain messages of peace, love and social justice.
“I don’t want to talk about the movie because I will leave it to its author and those who know the movie theme. I would like to say a few words about this institution where we have gathered tonight in such a number. President of Republic of Srpska, you are not a guest here. You are in your home because this center would not exist if there was not your support as a president and as a man who recognized the significance of its formation. Also, there is my dear friend Ljubo Ćubić who also gave a great contribution to this magnificent structure’s building, the Center, which should be one of the leaders in culture and art even beyond the borders of Republic Srpska.” Mr. Livne also emphasized the role of this cultural institution in the strengthening of the Serbian – Jewish Friendship Society. “We are here to form connections, to make the ties between two nations - Serbian and Jewish stronger; the two nations which are linked with historical ties, but with other nations too, regardless of religion, nationality and race”, said Mr. Arie Livne.

Bozidar ZecevicThe former principal of Yugoslav Film Archive Božidar Zečević said that he, as an expert and the president of former Yugoslavian festivals and present – day movie festivals, had a chance to see thousands of movies, of all genres, but the first minutes of watching the movie “A Breath of Life” left a strong impression on him.

“This is the second time that I feel the emotions while watching this movie. The first time as a president of a jury on a festival in Sremski Karlovci where it has won the Grand Prix of the festival. I work with movie critics for almost a half century and I’ve watched thousands of movies and created for sure, how to say it, a professional defense system; I think – an emotional experiencing. I did not have that mechanism in front of this movie. I could not defend myself. It initiated in me the forces that exist beyond my profession. A few minutes of watching it, I knew it was about an absolute talent. It is because “A Breath of Life” brings us, in a cinematic way, into an antique tragedy, as we critics say. It opened that third eye, the spiritual eye which is the most important for watching a movie so we could realize what it is about”, Mr. Zečević referred to the present ones emphasizing that Snježana Brezo’s movie contains nothing fictional which he finds very rare when it is about a movie, as he said, the truth in movies rarely exists. “I’ve just been on one worldwide festival, as a jury member, and they asked me did something touch me, how I reacted, etc. Believe me, I’ve forgotten all those movies after several days, I couldn’t remember it. This one, the one that we watched together tonight, I will remember my whole life because it is about a drama which overcomes the humans’ power.” His opinion is that the movie should be recorded as a feature movie because it is important to present Banja Luka and Republic of Srpska in front of worldwide moviemakers in that movie category. “This is, according to my estimation, a political thriller of world class based on the pure truth”, this is Zečević’s attitude.

Snjezana BrezoThe director, Snježana Brezo was making the documentary movie “A Breath of Life” several years as graduation where she had a support of RTRS (Radio Television of Republic of Srpska), a head office where she is employed, colleagues who recognized her work and the importance of the project. We can assume how much effort, will and strength was required to realize the movie, having in mind current conditions in domestic, but also in world cinematography. Surely, it needed a lot of it because, as the movie critic Božidar Zečević said, it is a world theme, a movie with a universal message.

“Reputable host, respected President of Republic of Srpska and all of other inasmuch dear guests, thank you for taking the time to come and watch the movie “A Breath of Life”. It is a testimony of my people’s suffering in these areas. It is a cosmic rule that one witness has to stay behind every crime. In this case, it was confirmed by the main character in the movie Marko Medaković who survived the crime by God’s will and the odd play of destiny. The oppressors’ crime was perpetrated by their decisions and selfish interest known only to them, the decisions made without a shred of remorse. Is there anything more grievous and more frightful than to kill a life in its very beginning; to kill newly born and innocent babies or to make them lifelong disabled persons? This movie was created as an imperative to document the proportions of the crime and to send to the world the truth which cannot be hidden since no crime can be left undiscovered. The true strength which is measured by mother’s pain has been recognized, according to very emotional reactions of the audience present in the former projections”, said the movie’s author Snježana Brezo.

The President of Republic Srpska Milorad Dodik after the projection referred to media: “It is impossible not to react emotionally on the themes like this. Not many movies tell truth, as those who know movie art better than I have said before. I will agree with them and with the fact that “A Breath of Life” is one of the rare ones which just tells the truth. It is the cruel truth which claims that the world potentates did not have selections while putting into effect their decisions, even though it was about just born children. A long time ago, the decision how to treat us was made and we do not have another choice than to endure it; to believe that someone from the cabinet where our lives are being tailored,and the mankind’s in general, will take a stand for the events on these territories”. He emphasized that is more than necessary to make a movie in appropriate time about Jasenovac, its victims and, in general, historical events and people from these areas. “We, who live here, want peace, but we do not want to be an experiment. In my opinion, the truth will win. Tonight, we were witnesses of one truth and we will do everything so it can be heard and we will do everything to help those who put an effort to leave a mark like it happens in “A Breath of Life”. This was the President’s message.
The director of the Jewish Cultural Center “Arie Livne” Đorđe Mikeš expressed his admiration to the producer Snježana Brezo and to her enthusiasm. “I am touched by her will and wish to succeed in the realization of this, above all, a startling movie. It is our honor that the movie is presented in the Center and I think that it is a good way from where to start towards a success in the cinematography from our territories, but the world’s cinematography too.”


“The artistic value of the documentary movie “A Breath of Life” is recognized in domestic and international film festivals. The winner of the prize “Srebrni pastir” (“Silver shepherd”) on “Homoljski motivi” (“The Homolj motifs”) film festival in Kučevo. The producer Snježana Brezo was awarded “Sedrik Delijer” charter. On “Bratina” festival in Moscow, the movie won the “Zlatna diploma” (“Golden diploma”) prize, which was delivered by the president of the “Golden Knight” International Cinema Forum and the professor Nikolaj Petrovič. Among 60 movies from all around the world, it won the first place in Dublin and the first prize in Sremski Karlovci on “Bdenje Jakova Orfelina” (“The Vigil of Jakov Orfelin”) festival. It won the first prize for a special quality of the author’s work on “Profest” film festival in Bačka Topola and Grand Prix in Velika Plana on “Volja za životom” (“A Will for Life”) film festival. Surely, it is significant to mention the prize “Stećak Kneza Pavla” on “Prvi Kadar” (“First Frame”) festival in the City of East Sarajevo.”


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Read 2053 times Last modified on Wednesday, 09 November 2016 12:54