Welcome to Sarajevo

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -1

Welcome to the world of the international press corps - a group of war correspondents, some jaded, some still innocent - covering the news in one of the most dangerous places on Earth. The unsinkable spirit of this city under siege will leave none of them untouched, and will lead one journalist to shed his objectivity and get involved. News correspondent Michael Henderson (Stephen Dillane) has made a career of covering the world's hot spots, but nothing could have prepared him for what he will experience in Sarajevo. There he meets Flynn (Woody Harrelson), a renowned American journalist also reporting on the war. The year is 1992, the beginning of the siege on Sarajevo. The cosmopolitan city that once hosted the Winter Olympics and served as a popular European vacation spot has come under attack from groups of Bosnian Serbs fighting to overturn Bosnian independence. In this city where many different cultures once lived together in peace, neighbors are now killing neighbors. Based on true stories, WELCOME TO SARAJEVO will shock those who remain unaware of the atrocities of this city's situation.

Because the story lurks somewhere between fact and fiction, and because the movie waffles between a story and a documentary, WELCOME TO SARAJEVO will only draw small crowds at the theater. Amidst an army of media reporters who prize a good news piece over human life, one reporter decides to shed his "objectivity" and actually do some good. Instead of filming victims for his own career, he films them to persuade the world to take action. Despite this positive theme, the depiction of war violence is often disturbing. Viewers glimpse actual footage which failed to make the evening news -- and for obvious reasons. Views of dangling and severed limbs, ravaged bodies, and hanging victims swinging from ropes appear frequently. Three crude words and nine obscenities mar the dialogue, and the Lord's name is taken in vain five times. Reporters constantly smoke and drink hard liquor. Although the film will succeed in persuading viewers that Sarajevo's situation is indeed horrific, it also goes too far in making its point by showing footage most will not want to see.

Preview Reviewer: Jason Shepherd
Distributor:
Miramax Films, 375 Greenwich, New York, NY 10013

Summary
The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times -- Mild 1, Moderate 2

Obscene Language: Several (9) times -- (s-word 2; f-word 7)

Profanity: Several (5) times -- Regular 2 (Christ, God); Exclamatory 3

Violence: Many times -- Moderate to Severe (Disturbing scenes of war with bloody injuries and post-battle carnage)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (naked male refugee chases bus--brief full frontal male nudity)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Many times (smoking, hard liquor)

Other: News media personnel film war victims instead of helping them find medical aid.

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults


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