We Are All Neighbours

Debbie Christie
55 minutes


A chronicle of the breakdown in personal relationships between Bosnian Muslims and Croats in a village, which the film-makers saw as the singular ray of hope in a land beginning to tear itself apart.

And, eventually, the expulsion of the Muslim population and the destruction of their homes by Croat soldiers as war overtook the village of "Dolina" in May 1993. The story is mostly told in the words of the villagers themselves, with gripping accounts of how fear and intimidation sunder decades long friendships as the multiethnic fabric of Bosnia is torn apart. The film ends with one of the displaced Muslims from the village seeing no possibility of ever living with the Croats in the village again after what had happened.

When Catholic Croats assert control, Muslim businesses are attacked, villagers arrested and harassed, and homes threatened. Three weeks later, neighbours who had been close friends for 50 years no longer speak to each other, and the peaceful coexistence between Croats and Muslims disintegrates into mutual distrust and fear.

Tone Bringa
Suggested readings: 
Being Muslim the Bosnian way : identity and community in a central Bosnian village / Tone Bringa. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1995. XXI, 281 s. : ill. (Princeton studies in Muslim politics)