DEATH IN SARAJEVO (SMRT U SARAJEVU)
In 1914, a Serbian man named Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, kicking off the chain of events that led to World War I. One hundred years later, during a centennial commemoration of those events, Academy Award®-winning director Danis Tanovi´c turns the luxurious Hotel Europa in the heart of Sarajevo into an ideological battleground. As visiting luminaries arrive for the ceremony, a looming hotel-worker strike pits a furious staff against management's underhanded cronies, while elsewhere, arguments about the region's turbulent history of violent conflict — beginning with Princip's fateful act — threaten to reach a dangerous boiling point. Tanovi´c's sublimely fluid camera glides through every corner of the expansive hotel, breathlessly capturing the escalating tensions with virtuosic panache. The film, a potent reminder that our unstable present has deep roots in the past, won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at this year's Berlin International Film Festival. — Mike Dougherty
Danis Tanović was born in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and studied at L'Institut National Supérieur des Arts du Spectacle in Brussels. His features include NO MAN'S LAND (2001), which won the Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film; HELL (2005), from a Krzysztof Kieślowski script; TRIAGE (2009); AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER (AFI FEST 2013); and TIGERS (2014).