Between Mountains and Wars

Between Mountains and Wars
A Documentary by Qali Nur & Natali Khalili Tari
Crowdfunding teaser: 
funded project
donated of €7.000
days to go

Project Information

About the project
LOCKLINEFor most Bosnia is reminiscent of ethno-religious tensions, but in Sarajevo 3 Jewish women, survivors of two wars, tell a different & forgotten story.

About the documentary 

When people think of Bosnia, to most, the 90’s war and ethnic divisions immediately come to mind, but in Sarajevo, a city where Sephardic Jews sought refuge over 400 years ago, the Jewish community lives in coexistence alongside their Muslim, Catholic and Orthodox Christian neighbours. Ester Kaveson Debevec, Rifka Albahari Raus & Laura Papo Ostojić, three Sephardic women between the ages of 79- 87 not only lived through the 90’s war but have also survived the Second World War. At the heart of the documentary is the women’s focal point of congregation; the Jewish community centre. It is situated in the only active synagogue in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Once making up 1/5th of the population in Sarajevo, the community now survives only in its hundreds.  Ester, Rifka and Laura’s stories each present hope in a backdrop of a horrific history. Non Jewish neighbours and friends helped them survive the second world war as children. Almost half a century later, the three women did their utmost to help their fellow Sarajevans survive the siege regardless of ethnicity or religion.

Why this documentary?

Between Mountains and Wars both serves as a hopeful tale of a community which refuses to be divided as well as a cautionary account of how quickly hateful rhetoric can turn into persecution and war. A necessary warning in a European atmosphere which grows more and more islamophobic and antisemitic each day. We want this important and solemnly known part of history to be permanently documented and accessible to both people in and outside of the Balkans. Being amongst the few people left of this generation to tell their stories, the women hope that never again this time truly means never again.


why this crowdfunding?

In late 2019 we travelled to Sarajevo to conduct the research and preliminary  interviews and film the majority of the documentary. These three months were fully self-funded. Now we have an ample amount of footage to make the documentary,  however we need funds to cover crucial elements such as music and archive materials. These are needed to illustrate key places and events, enhancing the historical trajectory of the film. Furthermore, we would love to have a professional sound mixer help us with our documentary. However, we would want to pay this person fairly for his or her work. Especially in these corona times where creatives and musicians are very vulnerable. Thus, the majority of the donations would be used to cover post production fees. In addition, if possible we would like to return to Sarajevo to capture additional footage that would make our documentary shine even brighter. Finally, if there are any funds left we will use them to pay the festival fees so that our documentary can be screened at international festivals making it widely available to diverse audiences.

Quote that inspired the maker

This project was successfully funded on 01-01-2021

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