A moving love story in a time of hatred: During the civil war in Kosovo, the young Serbian widow Danica falls in love with Ramiz, a Albanian soldier who, wounded in battle, seeks refuge in her home on the Serbian side of the River Ibar.
My Beautiful Country (Die Brücke am Ibar)
Germany / Serbia / Croatia 2012 | 88 min. | Color
Kosovo, 1999. As the civil war between Serbs and Albanians rages, hatred has replaced tolerance, and towns are brutally divided along ethnic lines. The young Serbian widow Danica lives with her two sons Vlado and Danilo in a predominantly Serbian community close to a small town which the River Ibar divides into an Albanian and a Serbian section. The death of Danica's husband at the hands of the Albanians has left profound traces in the family. Little Danilo has not spoken a word since, and Vlado has become a hooky-playing loner who dreams of owning a bright blue bicycle. In order to be able to afford it, he dives into the Ibar every day to catch fish which the kiosk owner buys from him for a few coins. In spite of the war, everyone in the community strives to lead normal lives. But one day, Danica returns from town to find a seriously injured Kosovo-Albanian soldier, Ramiz, in her house. Though aware that he is on the run from the Serbian militia, Danica takes Ramiz in and nurses him...
Director Michaela Kezele, who spent her childhood in former Yugoslavia, paints a realistic and uncompromising portrait of a love that defies ethnic barriers, but is doomed by the hatred that continues to simmer in the Balkans to this day. Following her short film "Milan", which won nearly 30 awards, "My Beautiful Country" is Michaela Kezele’s feature debut. Misel Maticevic (Grimme Award for "Im Angesicht des Verbrechens") and Zrinka Cvitesic ("Shooting Star" award at the Berlinale in 2010) star in this drama of love, hatred and mistrust.
Sperl Productions GmbH in cooperation with BR - Degeto - arte - SWR - FFF - BKM - Maxima Film - Atalanta.
Zrinka Cvitešić, Mišel Matičević, Andrija Nikčević, Miloš Mesarović, Danica Ristovski, Slavko Štimac.
Director: Michaela Kezele | Writer: Michaela Kezele | Kamera: Felix Novo De Oliveira | Editor: André Bendocchi-Alves & Stine Sonne Munch | Music: Gerd Baumann, Georg Hübner, Martina Eisenreich | Sound re-recording mixer & supervising sound editor; André Bendocchi-Alves | Production Design: Goran Joksimovic | Costume Design: Ljiljana Petrovic.
Awards & Festivals
The film received a Special Mention, German Cinema New Talent Category at the Munich Film Festival - Bayerischer Filmpreis / Bavarian Film Award 2013 – Young Talent Award, Audience prize at the Biberach Film Festival 2012, the Audience Award at the Arras Film Festival and the Diploma for Best Film at the Pula Film Festival. It also won the Torch Award for best film at the 14th Pyongyang International Film Festival and the Nuremberg Film Festival 2013 "Turkey-Germany" Award: Best Film. Pierrot - Best Director (Nomination, Best Newcomer Director) | Nuremberg Film Festival 2013 "Turkey-Germany": Audience Award, Nomination.