View from the Bridge - the first documentary feature about post-war Kosovo. Sometimes hopeful, sometimes tragic, the struggle to make peace in Kosovo opens a profound window into the human cost of the politics of hate, and reminds us that the ultimate responsibility for peace lies within us all.
DIRECTORS INTERVIEW: JOHN EALER, LAURA BIALIS
Why has tribalism amongst the ethnic groups of the former Yugoslavia persisted with such force?
That's obviously a really tough question, with no easy answer. But when politicians keep drawing distinctions instead of looking for common ground, when people are focused on the past instead of looking to the future, and when the voices of the people in the center are drowned out by the screamers of extremism, you have the start of a recipe for this kind of cyclical violence. One of the things that we touch on the film is that history has been used as a weapon to divide people in Kosovo for hundreds of years. If Serbs and Albanians chose to look for their common heritage and build their common future and forget what happened 600 years ago, that would be a start in breaking the cycle.I think you also have to look at the history of the region, it's an area that's been conquered and re-conquered over and over. Spending so many centuries under the Ottoman Turks, I think the "tribal instinct" may have developed as a way to preserve the primacy of the local culture in the face of such a strong outside presence.
Have you shown the film in Kosovo?
Yes. We took an early cut of the film to Kosovo in January of 2007. We felt a responsibility to the people who had shared so much of their lives with us to let them see and comment on the film before we finished it. Over and over as we were filming, people commented that news crews came time and time again only to "film and go home." We wanted to film and come back, to share our film with the people and get their feedback.