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Balkan Rhapsodies: 78 Measures of War

A ruminative experimental mosaic
By GERALD PEARY  |  October 16, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars


Is there some poison in the air of the Balkans, as one individual asserts, that breeds eternal ethnic bloodletting? Is this a region of the damned? Or, as others argue, is it a place of innocents, where it’s criminal to drop bombs on the civilian populace, as the US-led NATO forces did on Belgrade in 1999? Complicated, complicated. Boston-based filmmaker Jeff Silva was there then in angry-at-the-US Serbia, and also in war-shredded Kosovo, two brave places to be an American with a camera. His film is a ruminative experimental mosaic: fragments of interviews with Serbs, street scenes, newsreel footage, black spaces, sound bites of chats with contrarian American thinkers (Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky), and lots of visits with young Belgraders in their apartments. These last are armchair philosophers and American pop-culture experts one and all, amid smokes and Slivovitz. 55 minutes | Harvard Film Archive: October 13

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