Hans-Christian Schmid / England, Germany, Bosnia, Serbia
by Shelly S.
This challenging political thriller tackles the complexities of the interior workings of the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Prosecutor Hannah Maynard (Kerry Fox) pursues the trail of an ex Bosnian witness who committed suicide. This eventually leads her to the witness’ sister (Anamaria Marinca) whom she then persuades to take the stand. If it weren’t for dirty politics the trial looks cut and dry.
Director Schmid said it was necessary to make this film in this time frame since the actual trial of Goran Duric will be ending soon. He asked,” Should there be a set time limit to a war crimes tribunal? Who can say how long a witness needs to come out and tell his story?” These war crime tribunals are not only about catching war criminals but allowing victims to tell their stories so they can heal, an aspect Schmid captures perfectly. In preparing her role, Anamaria Marinca had to learn German and Kerry Fox observed human rights lawyers such as Carla DiPonti to find her character. She said that these lawyers are passionate about their work but usually are met with failure since “justice” is a hard thing to achieve. The film was completely done by hand-held camera, making the scenes close up and personal. This film won both the Amnesty International Film Prize and the Berliner Morgenpost Reader’s Prize.