Lessons from the Film Festival

The Sarajevo Film Festival was the first film festival of any kind that I have gone to. It was one of the events that I was most looking forward to on this trip. While the excitement of going to films pretty cheaply and perhaps running into a celebrity or two, (which sadly I did not) I was also really hoping to learn from the experience. Sometimes the best way to learn about a certain mindset or history is through a creative medium. It is almost like taking a peak into someone’s mind and their interpretation of events. The first lesson I learned was how to read the program and it is necessary to make a list or a chart of some sort because the program is not very straight forward and you will be confused. I learned to not let them overlap and that sadly even if you make a list and buy the tickets you may not have the chance to necessarily watch all the ones you want to see. The next lesson was that the little blurb they give of the movie is no where near the actual film. Many times I found myself very confused and questioning if I was in the right movie. The next lesson is that anything goes when it comes to films. I was prepared somewhat in the mindset that these would probably be artsy movies, maybe a little strange but I didn’t fully prepare for some of them. Yet, those are the ones who stuck with me and I am still trying to figure it out in my head. What I really enjoyed was that the movies did not spell it out for you. It did not assume that you were a stupid movie goer and they were thought provoking in different ways. I also learned to not stereotype a movie by region. While French films have a reputation of being long and romantic and boring, the Untouchables was perhaps my favorite film. I learned a lot about history and politics through the Boy who was a King, Boris with an I and A Long Vacation and the erased people of Slovania. I learned about what could have been with Redemption Street. The human stories were moving and although I did not come from there, I connected with the emotions. I also really appreciated watching the Amazing Spiderman and bonding over shared nerdiness. There were also some disappointments such as watching Brave and assuming it would be in english but was not.  Some movies I did not like initially but then mulling it over later I realize it was telling me something about myself and the way I think. I think the Film Festival is very a very important celebration of the love of story telling and reaching people in ways that may not always be possible in any other medium. I learned many things with just this one experience but those lessons will stick by me forever. 


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