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By Tom Meek | November 24, 1997

Based on the chronicled experiences of war correspondent Michæl Nicholson, “Welcome to Sarajevo” is an arresting depiction of the conflict in Bosnia. British stage actor, Stephen Dillane, stars as Michæl Henderson, a TV reporter who comes to Sarajevo to make his mark on the six o’clock news, but instead finds himself drawn to the plight of children orphaned by the war. After several newscasts urging the international community to extract the children prove ineffectual, Henderson gets involved personally and undertakes a plan to smuggle a nine-year-old girl out of the country.
As Henderson, Dillane’s portrait of a man caught between objectivity and his conscience is genuine and compelling, and Woody Harrelson is pleasantly effective in a bit part as Flynn, a maverick American journalist. But the true success behind “Sarajevo” lies in director Michæl Winterbottom’s sure handed composition. He has brilliantly crafted a chaotic digest that weaves through sniper fire and the burnt-out alleyways of a war-torn city with all the vigor of “Salvador” or “Under Fire.” The result is crisp, brutal and utterly inspirational.

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