Finding Bosnia puts a human face on the aftermath of displacement and explores the experience of living between cultures. Join Ivana Horvat as she returns to her home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the first time since fleeing war in 1992. Home video footage, stories from various generations of Bosnians, and experiences with friends and family paint an authentic picture of this post-war, post-socialist country while highlighting the magnificent spirit of the Balkans.
Reviews / Quotes:
"Testing whether one can really go home again, Ivana Hovat (not the same-named actress/model) - whose family fled their war-torn homeland of Bosnia in 1992 and settled as refugees in Oregon - returns to the Balkans with her mother to visit family and see whether she can truly reconnect with her native culture. Directed by Hovart and Adrian Hopffgarten, Finding Bosnia includes short animated segments on Bosnian history - including its role in the outbreak of World War I and amalgamation into Yugoslavia - but the film's emphasis is on the past two decades. Numerous residents of Sarajevo not only recall the close shaves they endured while the city was under siege by Serbian militants in the early '90s, but also speak of the city's special character, captured here in exuberant montages. Horvat adds footage of family gatherings in Bosnia, home movies of her and her parents living in America and meeting with other Bosnian exiles, and scenes of her spending time with Bosnians her own age, forming friendships during outings to sidewalk cafes, dance clubs and mountainous forests. There are poignant moments, one involving an untimely funeral, but overall the mood is not oppressively downbeat, even though Bosnia's recent past has been tragic and its people are uncertain about the future. The trip back to the Balkans was clearly fulfilling for Horvat, but this homespun personal documentary would likely prove engaging for others as well. Recommended." - Video Librarian
“A captivating look at what growing up removed from your history and family can mean for the formation of personal and cultural identity. That’s a topic especially prescient today as thousands of Syrian refugees flee their war-torn region.” - Kelly Mofit, St. Louis Public Radio
"Finding Bosnia entertained, moved and informed me. Many good movies accomplish one of the above; seldom do they do all three. Like many people, I did not know much about Bosnian history or the siege of Sarajevo. The way facts about these subjects were integrated into the movie was brilliant.” - Diane Herschleb, Oregon Episcopal School
“An absolutely fantastic documentary film that brings to life emotions, feelings, facts, tradition, humor, and most importantly the mindset and values in and of life in Bosnia. A wholehearted, must-see recommendation for all who want to better understand their friends from Bosnia. Incredible stuff and a true work of art. “ - Neno Brown, Bosnian Diaspora, St. Louis.