Ena Sendijarevic on Migration, Identity and the Question of Belonging

Variety | 8/22/2019 | Christopher Vourlias
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Bosnian filmmaker Ena Sendijarević had an auspicious debut with “Import,” a short film which world premiered in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. Drawing on her own family’s personal history, the Amsterdam-based director crafted an idiosyncratic tale about a family of Bosnian refugees trying to make a new home in the Netherlands.

With her feature debut, “Take Me Somewhere Nice,” Sendijarević again probes at questions of migration, identity and belonging in a quirky coming-of-age story about a teen raised in Holland who returns to Bosnia to visit her ailing father. The movie premiered at the Rotterdam Intl. Film Festival, where it won the Special Jury Award for exceptional artistic achievement, and was selected for Cannes’ ACID sidebar. This week at the Sarajevo Film Festival, it screened for Bosnian audiences for the first time.

Bosnia - Sendijarević - Family - War - Years

Born in Bosnia, Sendijarević fled with her family during the war, and has spent the past 25 years living in the Netherlands. The director spoke with Variety about her first feature, the in-betweenness of being a child of two cultures, and the question of who has the right to tell whose stories.

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Alma - Protagonist - Me - Somewhere - Nice

Like Alma, the protagonist of “Take Me Somewhere Nice,” you have Bosnian roots but were raised in the Netherlands. But unlike Alma, you were born in Bosnia, and your family was forced to flee because of the war. What did you learn while making this movie about your own connection to Bosnia—or even to the Netherlands?

Making this film was partly me wanting to explore this relationship that I have to Bosnia, because to me, it was also this big question mark: what is this relationship about? I’m living in the Netherlands for so many years, but I still have this Bosnian [identity]. This is also how people...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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