ELVIS

Bosnie, 1993-1996

co-directing: Alain Duplantier
Original format 35mm
Running time 65 minutes
production LAZENNEC

La version Française est après la version anglaise.

Synopsis

An escaping man, exhausted and wounded, hides in the ruins of a besieged city. Aided by a band of kids, he finds refuge in an empty room. The inhabitants of the building question him about his identity and his past but he remains quite evasive; soon the building hums with gossip about this character who says his name is Elvis.
Thanks to the help of Maya, a young woman who falls in love with him, Elvis’s reprieve seems to last for a while, until it is discovered that he is not what he pretends to be.

Objective

In 1992, the Serbs had invaded Yugoslavia in order to take control of this country that had been, until then, a patchwork of different ethnic groups.
They called that operation ethnic purification, and they used some of the well-proven methods: massive slaughters, systematic rapes and torture camps.
For months and years, we all knew that some of our neighbours were in hell.
For few of us, it was important to act in some way in Bosnia, particularly during the siege of Sarajevo.
Wanting to make a movie in Sarajevo in December 1993 was truly ludicrous. Our powerlessness resided in the fact that we were layering spectacle upon spectacle.
In fact the film was a pretext for furthering our understanding about what was going on, and facilitating exchange, bringing money, making departures possible: doing something rather than nothing.
Nevertheless we wanted to try, on the margins of the discourse of the mainstream media, to express something about the unspeakableness of ravaged destinies.
It is the purpose of fiction to render the invisible visible.
We wanted to tell an individual’s story: of how to live when others want you to disappear, to shatter your spirit as well as your body.
The movie was made in a state of emergency. Without
really knowing what we were going to do, the four of us went and passed for journalists on assignment. We filmed with the people that we met there. Most of them had never acted before. But all knew a lot about human misery.

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En Décembre 1993, Jean-Christian Bourcart, Alain Duplantier, Ludovic Carême et Dylan Doyle décidaient de partir faire un film de fiction en Bosnie qui entrait dans son deuxième hivers de faim, de froid et de bombes. Cherchant un engagement de long terme, ils voulaient comprendre quel était la réalité derrière les évènements des actualités.
Et à partir de cette compréhension nouvelle, ils voulaient raconter une histoire si proche du réel qu’un frisson de vérité devait l’animer. Ils tournèrent avec les gens qu’ils rencontrèrent.


co-directing: Alain Duplantier
Original format 35mm
Running time 65 minutes
production LAZENNEC
Original language Serbo-Croatian
Subtitle French or English

Credits

with
ZAN MAROLD
ELVEDINA DZEKO
IZUDIN BAJROVIC
SEAD BEJTOVIC
LJUBICA ZNIDARIC
MLADEN POPOVIC
SELMA KAPO
SABAHUDIN PITIC
MIRJANA JAMAKOSMANOVIC
MARKO VESOVIC

assistant: DYLAN DOYLE
sound: LUDOVIC CAREME
editing: ANTOINE MOREAU
mix: JEAN-MARC SCHICK
production assistant: STANISLAVA PIJUNOVIC
translation: NEJRA BARALIC

Press clippings

"One comes out shaken, with the feeling of having just saved one's skin"
Vincent Remy in Télérama

"This film with its apocaliptic atmosphere obliges you to admire it"
D.K. L'Express

"J. C. Bourcart and A. Duplantier have accomplished a rare work, which must absolutely be seen"
Thomas Ordonneau Jalouse

"This film sweats courage, generosity and dignity"
Studio Magazine