New SEETV Documentary

The Long Road through Balkan History


The documentary about Balkan history controversies with two famous writers in the main roles


“The Long Road” explores different visions of the common past in the Balkans and how those differing visions impact the present and the future of the region. 20 years since the collapse of the old Yugoslavia, the time has finally come for the ultimate Balkan road movie…

It is a journey through the past, present and future… from Slovenia to Macedonia, via Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. Travelling in a small red Yugo, the main protagonists are two writers, Miljenko Jergovic from Croatia and Marko Vidojkovic from Serbia. They share the driving in a Yugo, the ultimate symbol of their common past, and drive it from one end to the other of the road once known as the "Highway of Brotherhood and Unity".

They aim to look at their common past, find out how history has set them apart, ask where the present is leading them - and have a lot of fun while they are about it. As the Yugo dodges lorries, fast cars and queues at endless border controls, they take a wry look at the state of the Balkans. They comment on the radio news and above all stop to take to ask those who can tell them how they got there… and where the highway of history is taking them next.

"Travelling in a small red Yugo, Jergovic and Vidojkovic are exploring how many sides of historical truth one can find in the Balkans, without pretending to establish a single universal truth." Politika daily, Belgrade.

"A dynamic and intriguing history class in the form of a road movie.Slobodna Dalmacija, Zagreb.

Our vision of history has been changed several times over last 50 years, following the changes in the current politics” says Zeljko Mirkovic, film director. “We have had many “historical truths” in that period and somehow lost the interest for the truths of others around us. This long journey of 3000 km in a small, red Yugo was our attempt to better understand the Other, but at the same time it helped us to see ourselves better” says Mirkovic.

“It is enough just to take a look on the way some important dates from the recent wars are being commemorated in Serbia and Croatia, or to see conflicted perceptions of the Bosnian war, revived by the Karadzic’s trial in the Hague, or heated debates about the role of “chetniks” and “partisans” in Serbia – to understand that this film is not about the past, but about the present. Conflicted visions of history are not a speciality of the Balkans, but here too we should find a way to leave them behind, without creating conditions for new conflicts” says Dusan Gajic, producer of the documentary.

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Stop in a high school
in Brcko, BiH

The question of history teaching is central for the democratisation of the Balkan countries and a long-lasting reconciliation process. The European integration of the Balkans also requires dialogue and integration of memories and histories.

This TV documentary aims at demonstrating, by confronting various points of view on the same historic events, that there is one historic interpretation, but many. Embracing the diversity of historical perceptions on a given event is a key element for the rebuilding of a common history, and should not be used to leverage divisions.

Trailer THE LONG ROAD



 

This documentary is co-financed by European Commission’s DG Enlargement.