Search The Archive

Search the film archive

"An expertly modulated choral drama that is also one of the most clear-cut and boldly stated summations of Bosnia's paralysing discord." – Variety

It's the most important night of Omer's life. A host of diplomatic European Union VIPs is gathering at his lavish Hotel Europa to celebrate at the centennial gala of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – and if the revelry isn't to satisfaction, his already-mortgaged establishment will be closed down.

With disgruntled staff on the verge of striking due to months of unpaid wages, he must go to extreme measures and thuggish brutality to keep the status quo. Omer's deputy Lamija is willing to look past the disappearance of the union strike leader, but once her laundress mother is elected in their place she finds herself flung to a crossroads of personal and professional loyalty.

Winning both the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize at Berlin, Death in Sarajevo is a riveting political parable as the once-hopeful Hotel Europa transforms into a melting pot of chaos and violence. Loosely adapting Bernard-Henri Lévy's play Hotel Europe, Oscar-winning director Danis Tanović takes a satirical approach to a serious subject, commenting on contemporary Europe and Balkan history with an engaging touch.

"Tanović mixes light and dark, earnest debate and soap opera very cleverly … Death in Sarajevo has the energy and entertainment value of a Hollywood drama." – The Playlist