This trailer is for the documentary I have just completed called Candles Against the Night which, at the moment, has no commercial value. It is about how a small group of teenagers have created a children's theatre in Srebrenica open to all communities (Catholic Croats and the Muslim Bosnians as well as the Serbians). It is against the blessing of the civil administration, the religious leaders and many adults. The teenagers are brave, imaginative, pro-democratic, anti-racists and represent how, in any community having suffered tragedy and civil war, the best of youth, with its idealist aspirations can rise out of hell.
Srebrenica is the town in Bosnia where, during the Balkan Wars of 1992-5, Dutch UN troops were surrounded by the Serbian irregulars who forced them to abandon the UN ‘Safe Haven’. Following that, over 8,000 Muslim men and youths were massacred.
The town is still in a poor condition despite millions supposedly having been invested by the US and the EU.
Presently Bosnia is in a fragile political condition with the mini Republika Srpska (in which Srebrenica is situated) threatening to tear away to become an independent state, politicians stir the people up before elections creating jealousy and fear, schools are ethnically divided, Bosnia has failed to win approval to begin its process to join the EU and the place is a tinderbox. This is an important regional and international issue which, as we have seen in the past, will affect the US and EU.
In 2002 a small humanitarian NGO called Musicians Without Boarders set up a project called The Music Bus. A young Bosnian Muslim was chosen to lead the project and inspired, amongst others, the teens to become involved in music and theatre work.
Against all odds these teenagers represent a true alternative...the film is about their struggle to maintain their children’s theatre and to help the younger kids in the community ‘so that they will grow up to be good parents and good citizens’. They represent what teens everywhere are capable of with a little mentoring and humane guidance.
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