Dara of Jasenovac Image

Dara of Jasenovac

By Ray Lobo | January 27, 2021

Extreme situations warp our experiences. When you are a prisoner in an extermination camp, there are no insignificant actions. Every action is a delicate existential decision to survive the day, survive the next minute; every step becomes monumental. Those actions become even more challenging when your family is in the same death camp as you. Dara of Jasenovac depicts the hardships faced by a young girl as she tries to survive an extermination camp while protecting her baby brother.

Predrag Antonijevic, working from a script by Natasa Drakulic, joins a long list of directors who have tried to capture the horror of the many death camps that dotted Europe during World War II. These extermination camps attempted a complete mass eradication of Jews, members of the LGBTQIA community, disabled individuals, Roma, Communists, and anyone opposed to fascism. Dara of Jasenovac focuses on the camps set up by Croatia’s Nazi collaborators in an attempt to erase Serbians and anti-fascists (Yugoslav Partisans).

The film’s opening sequence shows Croatian villagers watching as Serbians are forced to file out of the village and onto trains. The surreal vision of these people being marched along the streets strikes a Croatian peasant as deeply disturbing. She is told to mind her own business. This is a reminder that evil is perpetrated by both those that commit evil acts and those that do nothing. Human degradation knows no boundaries within the camps, inmates have to bury the dead, including their own family members, and mothers who desperately protest against separation from their children get shot by camp guards.

“…depicts the hardships faced by a young girl as she tries to survive an extermination camp…”

The movie is exquisitely shot. The light throughout is never garish, and it beautifully illuminates the actors inhabiting the bleak setting. As the young Dara, Biljana Cekic wears the horrors of the era on her melancholic face while also flashing steely expressions that convey her determination to help her baby brother survive the camp. The rest of the cast, including Zlatan Vidovic, Anja Stanic Ilic, Sandra Ljubojevic, among many others, effectively convey both the degradation of camp life and the will to live.

If there is a blemish to Dara of Jasenovac, it is the portrayal of the Croatian fascists who run the camps. Sure, historically speaking, fascists, especially those in charge of the death camps, were quite comfortable with violence; however, the fascists portrayed here are cartoonishly evil. Scenes in which fascists comfortably eat their dinners while killing prisoners and in which they make detainees play a sadistic game of musical chairs stretch the limits of credibility. While we must admit that the historical records document many sadistic acts on the part of camp overseers, these scenes may have been more believable if the fascists were not portrayed in such a one-dimensional reptilian manner.

Ultimately, Dara of Jasenovac succeeds when it focuses on small details. Day-to-day survival techniques like figuring out how to find a bowl for the meager food portions distributed at the camps, or depicting the re-education of Orthodox Serbian children to fall in line with the Catholic practices of Croats, make this a unique World War II story worth watching. Giving this story a specific geographical context helps viewers understand the full-blown animus between Serbs and Croats that lay subterranean in the years of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and would later explode in the 1990s.

Dara of Jasenovac serves as a compelling human drama, World War II education, an education in the Balkan conflicts of the last decade of the twentieth century, and a warning of the dangers that await those countries that do not take their simmering ethnic animosities seriously. It is made all the more compelling thanks to the cast and the little touches that show the hardships of life in a death camp.

Dara of Jasenovac (2021)

Directed: Predrag Antonijevic

Written: Natasa Drakulic

Starring: Biljana Cekic, Zlatan Vidovic, Anja Stanic Ilic, Sandra Ljubojevic, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Dara of Jasenovac Image

"…succeeds when it focuses on small details..."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Tatjana says:

    Well done!

  2. Tanya says:

    Letter from Gen.Alesandro Luzano to Mussolini
    Duce! My immeasurable devotion towards You gives me, I hope, the right to, sometimes, bypassstrict military protocol. That is why I feel free and obliged to promptly describe you one eventwhich, three weeks ago, I have personally witnessed. Patrolling in towns Stolac, Capljina andLubinye (about 60 to 130km north of Ragusa i.e Dubrovnik) I heard from our intelligence officersthat Pavelich’s army- ustashas have in the previous day done some crime in village Prebilovci, andthat, when they hear about it, nearby Serbs are certainly going to be upset yet again.I miss words to describe what I found there. In big classroom, I found slaughtered teacher and 120young pupils! No child was older than 12 years! Crime is not an appropriate, it is too innocent aword – that was above any madness! Many have their severed heads put orderly on school desks.From their severed bellies bowels were, like New Year’s tinsels, spread across the classroom andnailed to the roof! The flies and unbearable smell did not allow us to spend more time there. I havenoticed an opened bag of salt in the corner and I was stunned to realize that they have slautheredthem slowly, salting their necks first! As we were just about to depart, from the back of theclassroom we have heard a child rattling. I have sent two soldiers to see what it was. They foundone pupil, still alive, breathing with throat half cut! I took the poor child in my own car to our military hospital, and there we were able to awake him and from him we found out the full truthabout the tragedy.The criminals have first, taking turns, raped the Serbian teacher (her name was Stana Arnautovich)and then, in front of the children, they have slaughtered her. They raped even the eight-year-oldgirls. During all that time, a Gypsy band brought there was forced to play music and hittambourines! To the utter disgrace of our, Roman church, one priest participated in all this! The boy that we saved recovered quickly. And as soon as the wound healed, he was able to run awayfrom the hospital because of our inattention, and he run back to his village looking for his relatives.We send a patrol for him, but to no avail: they find him in front of his house, slaughtered!From more than a thousand souls in the village there is no-one left! The same day (that wediscovered later) when the crime in school was perpetrated, ustashe rounded 700 inhabitants of village Prebilovci and drop them into foiba, or killed them in the most bestial way on the road tothe pit. Only 300 men saved themself: they were able to break ustashi lines and to run to themountains! These 300 survivors are stronger than the most elite Pavelich’s ustashe division. Allthat they have to lose, they lost! Children, wifes, mothers, sisters, houses, possessions. They arefree even from the fear of death. The only meaning of their lives is in revenge, in the horriblerevenge – they are, in a way, even ashamed that they have survived!And villages, such as Prebilovci, are all around Herzegovina, Bosnia, Lika and Dalmazia. Slaughter of Serbs has reached such proportions, that, in these areas, even water resources are polluted. Fromone spring in Popovo Polye, near the pit in which 4000 Serbs were thrown, a reddish water ran, Ihave seen it myself! On conscience of Italy and our culture a dark stain will fall forever if we donot distance ourselves from ustashe and their demented crimes.

  3. Linda Keres Carter says:

    Everything in the film was documented in survivor’s testimony, except the scene with the musical chairs. In real life, the players were not adults. They were CHILDREN killed if they could not find chairs. A little four-year-old in my extended family was one of those lost at Jasenovac. If the Ustasha are unimaginably sadistic in the film it is because, in real life, that is how they behaved. I believe that it relates to the systematic effort, since before the first world war, to “Kill the Serb in the Head.” This was psychological genocide that caused many Serb families in a starving time to capitulate and convert — pass to the ‘other’ side that hated them so fiercely. That created many highly dysfunctional people who tried to ‘pass’ as Croatian and gain acceptance by being the loudest Serb bashers around. Many of those Ustasha were from this kind of background. This indulgence in cultural genocide also gave those damaged people who succumbed to it far too free an expression of their own self-hatred, inflicted on those still remaining Serb ‘others.” It is, I believe, internalized racism allowed its most evil expression.

    The film needs to be viewed as an accurate accounting of an horrific part of history never examined before. Whether that makes for graceful cinema is another, lesser concern IMO.

  4. miki says:

    The best and true

  5. Endemic says:

    “While we must admit that the historical records document many sadistic acts on the part of camp overseers, these scenes may have been more believable if the fascists were not portrayed in such a one-dimensional reptilian manner.“ These are worse and more brutal ways people including children were killed in this camp, what do you suggest? Would a scene with children’s fingers being cut off and strung on as a necklace be a bit more suitable?

  6. Ane says:

    – Do you know that Serbia not want proposal to independent experts from all over the world, even from Serbia are investigate Jasenovac? It is easier to manipulate like this over media.
    – Do you know that Serbia denies Srebrenica, and celebrates theirs war criminals from 1991-1995, like Ratko Mladic? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-bUxkmjBQY
    – Do You know who is financed this movie? President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic. Do you know who he was in 1991? He personally participated in the aggression against Croatia in 1991-1995. He walked around occupied Croatia and held rallies for Serbs that a third of Croatia would belong to Serbia.
    – Do you know that Serbian Nazi fascists worked closely with German Nazi officials in making Belgrade the first ‘Judenfrei’ city of Europe by mid-1942. Serbian leader Milan Nedic made an official visit to Adolf Hitler on 19 September 1943, advancing the idea that Serbia is no place for Jews and thanking ‘Führer’ for his decision to exterminate Jewish people in Europe. And they did – between 90 and 94% of Serbia’s Jews were exterminated in various concentration camps across Serbia.
    – Do you know, A week ago the envoy of Serbia sent by Aleksandar Vucic came to Croatia as a humanitarian, and when the night fell in the city of Knin in Croatia that envoy records a video in which he speaks that one day they would Serbia attack Croatia again and how it will be all of Serbia, he posted this video it on his facebook profile and his to erase it later. His name is Milos Stojkovic. Croatia has sent a protest note to Serbia, but there is no answer.

    Do you Expect a true and realistic film from such people?

    • Dara says:

      Ane you are Croat and that’s the reason why you have to spit on Serbs…instead to feel shame what your people was doing to my people during the II World War…but thanks God that whole world know now if they didn’t find out before who was black shirts army…monsters…beastly killers…so you can mention Vucic or any other Serb…but why you didn’t say anything about PAVELIC…STEPINAC…TUDJMAN…they were the largest beasts that history knows…and Croatia was full of Serbs…it was there country too…and Croats half of them killed and half expelled…in this last civil war…cause it was civil war…I don’t know why this kind of movies have not been made before…and show to the world…cause there were 1000 and 1000 destinies like Dara’s mother and Dara…truth can’t be denied no matter how much some people would like to denied that…that hate what Croats have against Serbs is well known to everybody…so Ane…it is better for you to pray God for the victims which one suffered from your people then to spit here on Serbs…cause what goes around…comes around….one day…

    • FRANCES FERNANDES says:

      I don’t know whether to be revolted or saddened by such arrant nonsense as that propagated by Ane Cancel and her ilk. I’m revolted that human beings could go to such efforts to deny what is provable, historical fact. My father-in-law fought against the Ustasha and the Nazis during World War II and my mother-in-law and her half-Jewish mother and siblings were hidden by Serbs at the risk of their own lives. But don’t believe me or any Serb, study the history and research done by historians into the issue. The facts are clear and the film reflects them.

    • Dobri vojnik Svejk says:

      Did you make ustasha crimes dissapear with this comment? Of course not. But you tried. And that tells us all we need to know.

  7. hexenkind says:

    The film is typical servian nationalistic propaganda, fictional fantasy about holocaust. This propaganda is meant to approve the servian genocide during 90s Homeland war in Croatia, and aggressions on Bosnia and Kosovo to establish greater servia. Nothing new, even the nazis knew how to use film for propaganda. Jasenovac was transit and labor camp, not the extermination camp like Auschwitz and other. And there were no concentration camps for children in Croatia in that time.

  8. Alex Wolf says:

    I see a whole lotta Serbian bots in these comments on their government expense (usually a sandwich). Here’s some real history for you all.
    Belgrade (Serbia) was the first Juden Frei city in the world.
    Serbs collaborated with Nazis the entire war.
    Camps like Banjica and Staro Sajmishte were made specifically for Jews and Gypsies.

  9. Predrag says:

    Dear Mr Lobo,
    I hope that you have not meant also that scene from Schindler’s List when Amon Göth is randomly shooting prisoners also as “cartoonishly evil”? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQzfaiSnHnY) Do not know how else should Mr Antonijevic (or Steven Spilberg) depict those historical facts? I sincerely hope that you’ll not wall in the trap of trying to play political correctness in the case where the historical facts cry out loud for correction of official narrative. The Variety and LA Times wrote disgusting articles which should be refused by their editors after simple check of the Jasenovac Memorial Site web site http://www.jusp-jasenovac.hr/Default.aspx?sid=6711 (and that Memorial Site is actually under the control of the Government which is trying to deny these facts!)

  10. Alex says:

    If you seek the truth about the concentration camp Jasenovac in Croatia, read “Jasenovac: Auschwitz of the Balkans: Ustasha empire of cruelty”
    by Gideon Greif.

  11. Bee says:

    I attended primary school in Croatia 35 years ago. At the time, all our school excursions took us to the WWII significant places, so at the age of 10, we were taken to Jasenovac. We were shown photos, documentary film and museum exhibitions which show the same events as “Dara of Jasenovac”. I guess not all Croatian pupils were taken to the same excursions at the time or they forgot what they saw. It made such a strong impression on me that I remember Jasenovac vividly even 35 years later. At this age and mind, I wouldn’t let my child to be taken to such a place, even for a school excursion. So it is meaningless to say that this didn’t happen or that it is propaganda because the museum shows the same historic facts and everybody who ever saw Jasenovac in person will confirm that.

  12. Tanaj Podinic says:

    You can not be so ignorant of the fact that the only CONCENTRATION CAMP FOR KIDS was placed by Croatians in Croatia. Not even Germany had camp specially designed for kids. Those are historical facts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasenovac_concentration_camp

  13. Kosta says:

    Nice review. As for cartoonishly evil officers…as I have several suvivors of the camp in my family, as well as more than few victims, the cartoonish evil was the norm. The SS officers that visited the Jasenovac death camp within the framework of “know-how exchange” with their fellow Axis colegues were appaled and disgusted with exactly cartoonish b********y Croatian guards enjoyed. You see, Nazi officers made extermination of Jews an industry. Death was as swift and as efficient as possible. Not Jasenovac. Bullets, smokestacks, gaschambets were not used. Knifes, hammers, axes, and a plethora of medieval torture was the norm.for more than 700 000 victims. I encourage anyone with a stomach for it to do a research.

  14. Ina Vukic says:

    Utter Serb nationalistic propaganda against Croatia. It’s a shame Serbia didn’t use its funds to fund a movie about
    Clean-of-Jews” Serbia in WWII instead of perpetuating its propaganda to hide a worse reality for Jews in WWII Serbia than in Croatia, Ah, but Serbia blames Germany for the extermination of Jews in Serbia (94%) that was directly done by the Serbian government. Get your facts right at least .Sorry but the movie “Dara of Jasenovac” has no educational value about WWII Europe, it is biased and the only “value” it has regarding the Balkan conflicts is the value it has for Serbs – it tries to justify their genocide against Mislims and Croats of forner Yugoslavia during 1990’s.

    • Marko Basta says:

      @INA VUKIC
      Stop denying terrible genocide your nation did against Serbs and Jews during WW2. Stop spinning with Jewish destiny in occupied Serbia, led by nazi Germans. And for the fact, Germans exterminated Jews from Serbia on the place called Staro Sajmiste, the territory previously ruled by nazi Croats and then been ceded to Germans to finish a so called “Jewish question”. Serbs had nothing to do with. You are nothing but the croatian ultranationalist who still hate Serbs and the Holocaust denier.

    • CitizenJon says:

      Dear Iva, basically from your comment I can see that you know nothing about the history of Balkan, WW1, WW2, and the last bloodshed War from 1990. The Independent State of Croatia was nothing that Nazis right hand and you know that deep in your heart. They were organizing betting who will slaughter in the cruelest way, even Nazis soldiers puked themselves in the visitation of Concentration Kamp of Jasenovac, but don’t forget Jadovno, Stara Gradiska and slaughter of children. Can you imagine Ustasa with Srbosjek on his hand cause his hand was so painful cause he slaughter people all day and he couldn’t use a knife anymore.. Hmm imagine that, can you? And what about Zalosna Vrba, and all hanged people there? This film is not just about killed Serbs, there were also Jews and Gipsyis, and other nations who weren’t agreed with or wanted to live with those animals call Ustasa… Even today, the government cannot forbid that awful Nazis sentence Za dom spremni, used in the Independent State of Croatia… Imagine just living in fear, without food, and then killed with a hammer called the Kama or slaughter with Srbosjek or maybe just for fun hanged on the tree…Please watch the movie, and just try the imagine that cruel part of history, and try to understand why that is not normal, so much hate, so much pain, and why for what, just because they were different they were Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, and even Croats.

      Wish you all the best, and for all of you that are commenting here, I wish that never ever something like this repeat on this planet and our lives. Spread love, not hate!

    • Ivan Jocić says:

      One important piece of information for an illiterate Croatian woman.
      Serbia was occupied by fascist Germany and a small part of fascist Bulgaria, unlike fascist Croatia, which itself carried out genocide against Serbs, Jews, gypsies and disloyal Croats.
      Only in the world was there a camp for children in that Croatian creation.
      Let me also remind you of the large number of Orthodox believers who were converted to Catholicism by the Catholic Church.
      So my advice is to take history into your own hands and teach illiterate and malicious bleeders

    • Jelena says:

      I’m daughter of Serb from Croatia. My aunt, Milica died in church in Smiljan, next to house where was born Nikola Tesla. She was burned alive with other Serbs, and more than 100 children. My father oldest brother was slotted in village Licki Citluk, village which was rebuild after WW2 but now is empty. Only fascist can write these lies, and fascist killing children in Jasenovac, Dahau, Treblinka… Shame on you! Shame to all who tried to forge History. 700.000 Serbs, Gypsies, Jews and Croats who did not want to kill their neighbors.

    • Alex says:

      You can deny it, but the truth remains the truth no matter how painful it is. !!! You must first understand the fact of what really happened during WW2. That event from WW2 is the mother of the consequences of the 90 wars, regardless of which side the trigger was on, since we already have the trigger. As far as I see in your defense, the consequence is the main argument and not the cause, when you understand the cause and the events from that period, then you will have the real truth. However you may know the real truth but just don’t want you to accept your dignity and morality by asking a question. Otherwise, your opinion is that everyone has the right to an opinion, no matter how many lies you tell and write, the real truth will always remain the truth.

    • Ivana says:

      No value to you meaning you have no respect for human life, no matter who it is and which nationality it is. This says all about you

    • Tanaj Podinic says:

      Only in Croatia, in the whole wide world :Concentration camps for CHILDREN. You should be ashamed of your comment. I would be. Check the – Facts :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jasenovac_concentration_camp

  15. Milorad Vukašinović says:

    You have to educate yourself.
    Start with Ante Starčević.
    After him you will have no doubts about ustaše.

    .

  16. Boris says:

    Dear Mr. Lobo. I forgive you for your ignorance and doubts regarding Croatian nazis and their portraial in this movie. Its understandable someone may doubt this portrait, because what they did and how they acted is completely unimaginable and surreal to people who are not familiar with this subject. Sad truth is they were actually exactly like this, and worse. They were so horrendously psychopatic that even German nazis (such as their military attache in Croatia General Glaise-Horstenau) were appaled with what Croats are doing. The crimes were so horrible that Italian army in Croatia almost mutinied wanting to stop this, and US president commented that after the war Croats should be put under tutoring of UN and reformed until they are fit to live among civilized people once again. The types of attrocities shown in movie are not even the worst of it, and scenarists moderated themselves, probably precisely because it would seem unreal and hard to believe. Things like crushing skulls with maces and throwing thousands of people in ntural pits, and then throwing hungry dogs inside so they finish off survivers once they go mad with hunger, burning living people in churches, collecting big baskets of human eyes as present for Croat leader, concentration camps for kids, plucking out babies from pregnant women etc, were ROUTINE for Croats. The reason why this is less known to the world is the strong support of Vatican to Croatia, who protected their criminals, helped them escape justice, and in every way coverd their crime, including recently in 1991. not alowing release of italian archives from 1941 even though it was due by law. That was done in order to not remind people who Croats are and help them again form their state in 1991. Naturally, Croats didnt change one bit, and their new state in 1991 finished what their state from 1941 started, completely ethnically cleansing entire Serbian people from Croatia.

  17. Adam says:

    You are one of those criminals who took the children’s fathers out of Jasanovac, Stara Gradiska and Jastrebarsko camp because you support that thinking. Members of my family were killed in 1995, an elderly person and a child in your Ustasha state, where no criminals were found because Croatia supports criminals and that mentality. You Ustasha Croats killed over 800,000 Serbs, Jews, and Roma in Jasenovac, and you want to hide that crime. For the sake of peace and brotherhood and unity, Tito hid that information. More than a million Serbs lived in Croatia before the First World War, and now there are about 100,000 of them, an old population of over 70 that will disappear in a few years. Croatia is the ethnically purest country in the world and the most fascist.

  18. Hercegovac says:

    In reality the crimes were far worse and far more sadistic that could ever possibly be shown on a film
    https://dokumen.tips/documents/letter-of-italian-army-general-alessandro-luzano-to-mussolini.html

  19. Vincent says:

    What you call “cartoonishly evil” is based on the eyewitness testimonials and hostorical records of the Holocaust Institute. Do a bit research, you will see it was even worse in reality.

  20. Peter Griffin says:

    The film is not a “good education” about World War 2, as it being used by the Serbian government (the film was apparently financed by the government in Belgrade) as a tool in the contemporary propaganda wars between the antagonistic sides in Balkans. The violence is gory and meant to vilify both the Catholic Church as well as Croats. Ustashas were horrible Nazi collaborators, and many Serbs have died gruesome deaths, but the film lacks context, lacks human conflict and is anachronistic in several moments. It has no chance in Oscars as the Academy is reluctant to allow for various governments to use it as a platform for propaganda purposes.

    • George Popovic says:

      The “gory” violence is nothing more or less than an accurate depiction of the facts, as corroborated by survivors from Jasenovac. The sadistic game of musical chairs was, for example, described by Dr. Nikola Nikolic, an ethnic Croat who was imprisoned in the camp as a communist. What truly vilifies the Catholic Church is not this movie (or any contemporary movie) but the sad fact that the Church leaders have never since 1945 apologized for the numerous crimes perpetrated in Yugoslavia during WWII by its very friars.

    • Kosta says:

      Dude, it doesn’t change the fact that it is the truth. We waited for 75 years for a movie like this. Is Schindler’s list propaganda too?

    • Milos Novakovic says:

      This crime, the biggest crime in entire history, was carefully planned, executed, and covered up by Catholic church. The scenes in this movie do not depict even 50% of cruelty and sadism exhibited by Catholics priests, nuns, and ustashe butchers. Any attempt to portray these massacres as they really happened, would be impossible, as they would be unfilmable, unwatchable, and unbelievable. As for “vilifying Catholic church”, you are either joking, or are utterly ignorant of basic historic facts. Indulgences, inquisition, crusades, genocides of entire continents, plunder, systematic rape of children, concordats with every single fascist regime in WW2(including Independent State of Croatia), lies, hypocrisy, and on, and on….. Catholic church is devil’s favorite institution, and has always been. Not a single positive thing has ever come out of it.

    • Lena says:

      Would you be so kind to give arguments for your stance that film is propaganda.
      You saw the film?

    • Boris says:

      There was no context to this. No kind of provocation, justification, or reason that could ever come close to begin to justify what Croats did. The only context is religious hatred, fueled by Cathlic church. The formula used by Croats to kill 1/3, expell 1/3 and convert 1/3 of Serbs was long ago invented by Catholic church in regard to Spanish jews after reconquista, and clearly shows the origin of this ideology. Vatican also helped save, rescue, cover and protect Croatian murderersafter the war, and forbid opening of Italian archives in 1991 to bolster Croatian claims for independance. Naturally if in 1991 these archives were open and world reminded what Croats did to Serbs last time they were independant, there would be some questions wether Serbs should be forced to live in such country again. As for the crimes portraid in the movie, they were in reality far far worse, and I strongly advice you educate yourself a bit before claiming its propaganda. What happened there has nothing to do with government and the war of the 90s. Every serb knows what happened there, as every Serb has someone in familly killed in Jasenovac. And the ways they were killed would put any holywood horror movie to shame.

    • Lena says:

      I would strongly advise you to do some research before commenting. Someone already stated it here but I’ll mention it again. For instance, Gideon Greif’s findings on Jasenovac and Ustashe terror (the chief investigator of the Israeli Holocaust Institute, Shem Olam). What was presented in the movie couldn’t be further away from propaganda, it even depicts the horrors of Jasenovac in a milder manner, because this is a movie.

  21. Serbian-Canadian writer of Macau says:

    There is nothing “one-dimensional reptillian” in the manner adopted for conveying the truth about Bosnian Moslem and Croatian Roman Catholic Ustashis (The Nazi puppet “Independent” State of Croatia included all of Bosnia-Herzegovina and a part of Serbia — Sirmia/Srem right across the Sava river from Downtown Belgrade, now again a part of the Belgrade urban agglomeration as it had been since the 1920s until Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia), which manner is basically documentary. Not even mocumentary, but genuinely authentic, based on facts and just enacted in a movie fashion.

  22. David says:

    Unfortunately for the victims in the Jasenovac extermination camp, the Ustashe officers (male and female) shown in the film (Luburić, Filipović, Vrban, Miloš, Šakić, Buždon…) were in fact much more horrible, monstrous and bloodthirsty and they rarely used cold weapon. Their favorite weapons were knives, axes and mallets.
    Gideon Greif, chief investigator of the Israeli Holocaust Institute, Shem Olam, has documented 57 methods of torture and killing in Jasenovac: the skinning, massacring by knives, beheading, the cutting off tongues, extremities and genitals, nailing a knife into a victim’s mouth, ripping the belly to pregnant women and removing unborn babies from their mothers’ wombs, ripping the lips to victims, breaking their hands, ripping off their breasts, drinking their blood….Victims were thrown into the fire alive, they were burnt with red-hot iron, they were killed with hammers, picks, butts, knives, axes, bombs, they were hanged and shot….Ustashe impaled children on knives, butchered them, smashed their heads, beheaded them, hit them to the walls or trees, poisoned them with gas…
    Even the German SS was shocked by the methods of the Ustashe.
    Some of the readers of the shocking testimony of the survivor of the Jasenovac camp Egon Berger, 44 months in Jasenovac (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34826165-44-months-in-jasenovac)
    commented that they had to take breaks while reading this book because they were physically sick of what they had read.
    I haven’t seen the film yet, but I guess a few of those ways of killing have been shown because such a film would be a splatter horror that could only be watched by fans of the horror genre, so the director had to soften the depiction of those crimes. In the trailer, I see that the Ustashe in the film are mostly killing their victims with firearms.
    What I want to say is that the Ustashe in the film look like one-dimensional villains from cartoons perhaps because the actors who played those roles were bad, not because the Ustashe weren’t like that in reality, because they were much worse. They were monsters in human form. Imagine that Michael Myers, Leatherface, Jason or Art the Clown really existed and that they ran a concentration camp in World War II. Such were the Croatian Ustashe.

  23. koki says:

    Shallow Serbian planting.
    That evil people are just sowing the seeds of hatred.
    Only in the service of nationalist politics.
    In the last 10 years alone, Croatia has officially apologized a million times for what happened in the camp, but they still tambourine in their fiddles and make a film not for the sake of the film but to raise new generations to hate Croatia.
    On the wings of this myth, they wanted to secede half of Croatia with the help of the entire Yugoslav army in 1991.
    And now they starting again. But now our soldier has something to shoot with.
    We are waiting for you but we know that you will not come without Turks or Russians to help you.

    • Lena says:

      You think apologies (even if they were sincere, which these are not because Croatia was forced to do it) could wash away all the terror and atrocities done in Jasenovac? For the sake of all the victims (there were Serbs, Jews, Roma and others), restrain yourself of these kind of public comments if you want the world to see today’s Croatians as normal people. Showing off as a blood thirsty animal, hating your neighbors because they breathe and exist is insane and you need to get some treatment asap. “We are waiting for you”, really? Get a grip.

    • Ohioan says:

      @Koki
      Why is then Croatia changing exhibit in Jasenovac memorial site and why now looks my less horrifying than it was before 1991?
      You have no shame when trying to blame Serbs for what is done in Jasenovac and in the ’90s.
      That “half of Croatia” was ethnically cleansed in 1995 by Croatia, there is the reason why Serbs didn’t want to stay in Croatia in the first place. It was ok for Croats to secede from Yugoslavia but the same principle isn’t applicable to Serbs to Croatia to secede. Just read the history and learn how West Virginia was created.

    • David says:

      Thank you for your comment because it proves exactly what the film Dara from Jasenovac warns about – how dangerous and carcinogenic Croatian fascism is.

    • Sana Knezevic says:

      You have no shame.

    • Jovana says:

      Why you just don’t go and be stupid somewhere else?! We will never forget what happened there.

      • Latif Hasolli says:

        Serbian government payed for pro Serbian propaganda, this is main issue. Period.

        • Vladimir says:

          Really?
          Do you know perhaps who is Petar Brzica?
          Never heard, I guess.
          Well he was Catholic priest who killed over 1300 people by his hand oven single night !
          You can even “google” him if you want.
          You are propaganda, people like you should be replaced in this world.

        • Kosta says:

          I’m glad they did. It would be better if Croatian government did it, because it is responsible for extermination (1941 – 1945 and expulsion (1995) of its own citizens Torqemada style. It should pay much more. I’m.just glad Yugoslav dream is over. We should have never formed a country with a people that did that to us twice. With the Habsburg’s in 1914 and Hitler in 1941. We should have left you 1918 with austria and Weimar to pay us war damages for what you did. You are still not off the hook. You and your children and the children of your children will be reminded again and again what your ancestors did. That way it will not be repeated

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon