This Film Is Pure Fiction, but the Chase Is All Too Real (Sarajevo)





SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina — In all the time that Radovan Karadzic has been on the run, numerous tales about his whereabouts have emerged. After being indicted by United Nations prosecutors as a war crimes suspect 11 years ago, Mr. Karadzic, the former leader of Bosnia’s Serbs, has supposedly been sighted disguised as a monk, spotted in a police car escaping from pursuing soldiers and even slipping into Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital, to sip coffee under the noses of international officials responsible for his arrest.

Now a film starring Richard Gere as a journalist and partly shot in this city aims to tell a small chapter in one of those tales.

“Spring Break in Bosnia” is a black comedy loosely based on an actual attempt by a group of journalists to track down Mr. Karadzic. The filmmakers say they hope the movie, due out next year, will shame the international community into making his arrest a higher priority, so that he will finally go on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Some 100,000 people, a majority of them Bosnian Muslims, are estimated to have died in the war, which lasted from 1992 to 1995.

Many people in Bosnia have mixed feelings about Hollywood tackling such a fraught issue. Mr. Karadzic is the figure most reviled by Muslims and Croats, who are a majority of the population, yet many Serbs laud their former leader as a hero.


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