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Award Winner

Festival Season:

August 2023

Seven Thousand Souls

Seven Thousand Souls

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Sanjin Miric
Sanjin Miric, MA, Vit Hlasensky
RODOLJUB z.s., Sanjin Miric
0:58:45

Awarded for the following Category(s):

Awarded Category(s)

Serbia alone had lost a third of its entire population in the Great War, almost half its men. This film talks about those that never returned home from the two biggest Austria-Hungarian prisoner camps on the territory of today's Czech Republic - Jindřichovice and Broumov.

 

A film that I owed to my nation. SEVEN THOUSAND SOULS is a documentary - a feature film about the suffering of Serbian and Russian soldiers and interned civilians in Austro-Hungarian camps on the territory of today's Czech Republic, Jindrihovice and Broumov. The camps had about 500 facilities where there were about 60,000 prisoners of war. Extremely difficult working conditions, no food, no shoes and clothes, winter and infectious diseases, all this affected the fact that 7,100 Serbs did not survive the camps. There is a mausoleum in Jindrihovice where the remains are victims of these camps - 7100 Serbs and 189 Russians. It is the second largest Serbian tomb in the world. 


The film also contains memories of soldiers who survived the camps, writen by a Dutch journalist Henri Aber in 1919. The descendants of soldiers from Serbia also speak in the film. The topic of Serbian prisoners and internees from the First World War is a neglected topic and even today, during the first centenary of the end of the First World War, they are completely forgotten and this injustice has not been corrected. From the time of the war, it seems that they could not fit into that, say, warrior, liberation narrative, where, above all, a soldier with a rifle in his hand was valued. If you look at any Serbian military monument, it is usually a soldier holding a rifle that is raised high. We have only a couple of sculptures of Serb civilians who died ... there are no monuments or they are very rare that generally concern the role of civilians, let alone civilians who were in slavery. 


But, as defined by the military legislation, a prisoner is someone who, by force of circumstances, ended up in captivity and he continues to perform his military duty. We can say the same for the civilian internees, that they were citizens of the Kingdom of Serbia who remained to be citizens even though they were faced with these completely unexpected and terrible opportunities. It is very unfortunate that, practically, for a whole century, they remain outside the collective memory of the Serbian people, even though it is a very dramatic suffering. I just think that these people were unfairly marginalized and almost thrown out of our general perception of the First World War.


 The film stars Lordan Zafranović, Jelena Ćirić, priest Srdjan Jablanović, etc. and the narrator is Jim High (english version), Jan Kacer (czech version), Tihomir Stanic (serbian version), Mihal Fedorov (russian version). 


Duration 59 minutes. 

Director: Sanjin Mirić (born in Visoko, BiH, permanent residence in the Czech Republic) Production: RODOLJUB z.s. Czech-Serbian Friendship Association Prague



Submitter Statement

A film that I owed to my nation.

Sanjin Mirič, MA Born in 1961 in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has lived in Zenica (BaH) since 1962. He finished high school there and after graduation he enrolled at the Faculty of Economics in Sarajevo. 


From high school he followed domestic and foreign cinematography and filmmaking, and because of that joined the Zenica cinema club "Nedeljko Radić", where he began to make his own amateur films, which were presented at many amateur film festivals throughout the former Yugoslavia and abroad, for which he received a large number of Grand Prix awards and the title of Master of Amateur Film.


He passed the entrance exam and was admitted to the Department of Documentary Directing at the Film Academy in Prague (FAMU), which he successfully completed with a diploma thesis and a graduation film in 1991. Since then, he has worked on all major television stations in Prague, mostly directing publicist and entertainment shows, and is the author of several documentaries. He has lived and worked in Prague since 1987. 


He worked for Radio Free Europe as a director of TV shows intended for Bosnia and Herzegovina and made here total of 32 30-minutes political periodics. He worked on making daily publicistic show by TV Prima - AKTA 97, made few documentary films for ČT (Czech Television) within the project „Třicet případů majora Zemana – jak to bylo doopravdy“ and worked as a director of publicistic shows on TV NOVA Občanské judo, Na vlastní oči, Prásk, Peříčko... He works in ČT as a director of TV show Taxík and Černé ovce.

Key Cast

Jelena Ciric, Lordan Zafranovic, priest Srdjan Jablanovic, Vid Lukovic, Natalie Zelinska, Zuzana Hruskova

Other Credits

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