Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo

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The Independent Culture
It seems there's nothing people like more than a love story. Of all the heart-rending headlines to pour out of war-torn Sarajevo, little has grabbed the attention of the outside world as much as the tragic tale of Bosko Brckic and Admira Ismic.

Western viewers are considered largely immune to the footage of the horrors of war, but film-makers know that this one theme will still tug on even the most hardened of heart-strings.

Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo (8pm C4), reconstructs the ill-fated romance of a Serb and a Muslim and their attempts to reject the war around them and escape to freedom.

By focusing all the ills of the conflict on the lives of two optimistic individuals who had a great deal to live for, this film has successfully personalised a situation that many in the West might otherwise find it hard to relate to.

Sarajevo, which hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, is seen here transformed into a desolate war zone where death is a sniper's bullet away and citizens are fired on like animals as they dash from one cover to another going about their daily business.

Bosko and Admira came close to escaping it all, one minute they were running to freedom and the next they were shot down - Admira cradling her dead lover in her arms. This is harrowing stuff, but a necessary reminder of the brutal reality for the countless victims of war.

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