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Buffalo Boy

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About the Inititative

Comprehensive list of all titles in the Global Lens collection.

Global Lens 2006
Global Lens 2005

- Buffalo Boy
- Daughter of Keltoum
- Fuse
- Hollow City
- Kabala
- Lili's Apron
- Today and Tomorrow
- Uniform
- What's a Human Anyway?
- Whisky

Global Lens 2004/2003

 
 

Fuse a film by Pjer Zalica

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2003 (105 minutes)

Synopsis

In Bosnia, still experiencing the effects of the breakup of Yugoslavia, everyday activities in the small town of Tesanj are thrown into a tailspin over an impending visit by American president Bill Clinton. A brothel is turned into a "cultural center." The mayor's ledgers are burned. Even the local firemen are forced to unite in solidarity with their hated counterparts just across the border in Serbia.

Tesanj is a town still in shock from the war with Serbians, a place where a random land mine can go off at any time, and violence is casually accepted as an everyday occurrence.

Zaim (Bogdan Diklic), the slightly palsied former chief of police, is in denial about the death of his son Adnan (Feda Stukan) he converses with him frequently, much to the chagrin of Zaim's surviving son, Faruck, a fireman (Enis Beslagic), and daughter, Azra (Ana Vilencia). Adnan's body was never found; his spectre tells Zaim he is being held in a mine in Serbia.

Mugdim (Izudin Bajrovic) , the present chief of police in cahoots with black-market profiteer and pimp Velija (Senad Basic) must clean up the town, and he warns Velija that it will be hard to protect him. English-speaking officials move in, inspecting every office and official space for anything, including corruption and weaponry, which could prove embarrassing during President Clinton's visit. They insist that the firemen on opposite sides of the border shake hands and work together. Faruck is hesitantly approached by a fellow fireman, Stanko ( Emir Hadzihafizbegovic ), a Serb, seeking packages of Pampers for his three-month-old baby.

Signs at the "inter-cultural center," where some of the brothel's customary activities have persevered, proclaim, "Let's Live Together - We are humans, not wolves." Hitka ( Jasna Zalica ), a returning émigré and a former girlfriend of the dead Adnan, sings comforting phrases like "our love will be together."

Zaim, unearthing a buried gun, embarks on a journey across the border into Serbia to find Adnan. When a stash of weapons is discovered by the authorities, both Mugdim and the mayor blame it on Zaim. After a long journey, Zaim reaches the mine, occupied by one guard, who over a dinner of mushrooms advises Zaim to "make yourself into a big bomb — grab an American — and demand your son back."

Preparations for Clinton's visit become more hectic. Faruck paints a giant portrait of the American president. A children's choir learns "House of the Rising Sun." Flags are sewn — but the American flag has red stars, not white. Faruck learns from Hitka that Adnan was killed while they were running away together, Adnan deserting the army. Hitka and Faruck recover Adnan's identification papers and a pocket watch. Faruck tells Zaim, now back home, how and where Adnan died, handing him the watch. Later, eating eggs with the spectre of his son, Zaim asks him, "Do I have a single reason to be happy?" "No," Adnan replies. Zaim turns on the kitchen gas and waits.

The big day arrives, and the firemen are united as one team. Songs are sung about co-existence and democracy. When the Clinton cavalcade pulls into town, Zaim lights a cigarette, deliberately blowing himself up. The motorcade roars out of town without anyone getting out. Arriving at the smoking rubble, the Mayor screams, "You've screwed us for all eternity!"

Faruck sits and talks with the ghosts of Zaim and Adnan, imploring them, "Can we not meet for awhile? Don't look in my windows at night. Don't breathe down my neck." As he bids goodbye to the town, the ghosts of a centuries-old conflict of ethnic misunderstanding, of lost children, of casual violence are never far away.

About the Director

Pjer Zalica was born in Sarajevo in 1964. He graduated from the Department of Directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Sarajevo. He then went on to complete a course in film screenplay writing and film production at the Gronjan International Film School. Author of several screenplays for film and TV, Zalica has also co-written a screenplay for the first post-war feature film from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Perfect Circle. Pjer is currently a Professor in the Department of Directing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Sarajevo. His most recent film, Days and Hours (2004), recently was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Principal Cast

Faruk
Zaim
Husnija
Mugdim
Hitka
Velija
Hamdo
Stanko
Adnan

Crew
Writer / Director
Production Company
Producer
Cinematographer
Production Designer
Music

 

Enis Beslagic
Bogdan Diklic
Sasa Petrovic
Izudin Bajrovic
Jasna Zalica
Senad Basic
Admir Glamocak
Emir Hadzihafisbegovic
Reda Stukan


Pjer Zalica
Refresh Prod.
Ademir Kenovic
Mirsad Herovic
Kemal Hrustanovic
Sasa Losic

 
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