Series Disappearing World Series
Director Debbie Christie, Tone Bringa
Length 52 mins
Format Colour / DVD or VHS / PAL or NTSC / All region
Location Bosnia, Sarajevo / Europe
Ethnic Group Bosnian
Prizes/Commendations Winner RAI Film Prize 1994
Order No RAI-200.291
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This film was shot in a mixed village of Catholics and Muslims in the heart of Bosnia in the course of two visits made in 1993, at the height of the civil war in former Yugoslavia. Based on the fieldwork and close personal relationships of the Norwegian anthropologist Tone Bringa, it shows in sensitive but unflinching detail how neighbours who had been on friendly terms for decades become gradually estranged from one another as the warfare taking place elsewhere gradually comes closer. By the end of the first shoot in January 1993, fearing the worst, Muslim mothers had sent their children away to safe havens elsewhere while their husbands were mounting armed patrols at night. By the time the filmmakers returned in May 1993, most of the Muslim population had fled and their houses had been destroyed while the Catholic houses remained in pristine condition. In the interim, the Croatian army had taken control of the village, the Muslim population had resisted and armed conflict had broken out. Many murders had been committed, not only by the invading army, but also by the very neighbours who had previously lived in harmony with one another.
As Pat Caplan commented in a review of the film, although the series title 'Disappearing World' had sometimes been criticized, in this film, “we watch a world literally disappear before our eyes.”
Caplan, Pat. 1993. Anthropology Today, Vol. 9, No.6, pp.20-22.
We Are All Neighbours has been awarded an EMMY international television award, tying for first place in the documentary category.