The title is significant: Ophuls' Sarajevo documentary is concerned less with the Serbo-Croatian war than with our perception of the conflict, the way journalists filter their experience of the frontline, and how our inaction in the West translates as moral complicity - as Philippe Noiret points out at the beginning of the film, people used to say that if they'd known about the Nazi atrocities, things would have been different; today, we know what's going on in the former Yugoslavia, and it makes no difference. This is a personal, rogue (and often roguish) vision. Ophuls shows us clips from his father's film De Mayerling à Sarajevo, about the start of WWI, which was shooting just as WWII broke out. He counterpoints news footage with sequences from Annie Hall and Henry V, and he reveals elements in the manufacture of 'the truth' no other film-maker would consider - more than anything, this is a film about self-censorship, a condition which is often unconscious and, perhaps, inevitable. Startling, candid, intelligent - and essential viewing.
Cast and crew