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MY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY (BRÜCKE AM IBAR, DIE)

MY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY
photo © Sperl Productions/Maja Medić

A moving love story in a time of hatred: During the civil war in Kosovo, the young Serbian widow Danica falls in love with Ramiz, a Kosovo-Albanian soldier who, wounded in battle, seeks refuge in her home on the Serbian side of the River Ibar. Ramiz makes friends with Danica’s children as well – but not with her spiteful and jealous neighbor...

Kosovo, 1999. As the civil war between Serbs and Albanians rages, hatred has replaced tolerance, and towns are brutally divided along ethnic lines. The young Serbian widow Danica lives with her two sons Vlado and Danilo in a predominantly Serbian community close to a small town which the River Ibar divides into an Albanian and a Serbian section.

The death of Danica’s husband at the hands of the Albanians has left profound traces in the family. Little Danilo has not spoken a word since, and Vlado has become a hooky-playing loner who dreams of owning a bright blue bicycle. In order to be able to afford it, he dives into the Ibar every day to catch fish which the kiosk owner buys from him for a few coins.

In spite of the war, everyone in the community strives to lead normal lives. But one day, Danica returns from town to find a seriously injured Kosovo-Albanian soldier, Ramiz, in her house. Though aware that he is on the run from the Serbian militia, Danica takes Ramiz in and nurses him back to health, thus exposing herself and the children to danger.

Bombs are now falling every day, and a wrecked, burned-out tank destroyed by NATO bombs becomes the children’s favorite playground. No one suspects that the bombs have radioactively contaminated the wreck.

The love slowly blossoming between Danica and Ramiz comes to an abrupt end when Ramiz is denounced by Danica’s neighbor and has to flee to the Albanian side. The mute Danilo also unwittingly ends up there. Although the bridge over the Ibar has been closed, Danilo’s older brother Vlado manages to contact Ramiz, who finds the little boy and vows to bring him back to Danica...


Michaela Kezele was born in Munich in 1975. Her parents emigrated from the former Yugoslavia. She studied Music and graduated with a degree in Acting, before going on to study Direction at the University of Television and Film Munich. She graduated in 2008, and her thesis film was the acclaimed short film MILAN. MY BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY is her first feature-length film.
Genre Drama
Category Feature
Year of Production 2012
Director Michaela Kezele
Screenplay Michaela Kezele
Cinematography Felix Novo de Oliveira
Cast Zrinka Cvitesic, Mišel Matičević, Andrija Nikcevic, Milos Mesarovic, Danica Ristovski, Slavko Stimac
Producer Gabriela Sperl
Co-Producers Damir Teresak, Piroska Tolnai Varga
Production Company Sperl Productions/Munich, in co-production with Maxima Film/Atalanta
Length 88 min
Format DCP, color, 1:1.85
Original Version
 Serbian, Croatian
Subtitled Versions English, French, German
Festivals Montreal 2012 (First Films World Competition), Pula 2013, Camerimage 2013
Awards Bavarian Film Prize 2012 (Best Newcomer Director), Best Film Young Cinephiles Jury Award Pula 2013
With backing from FilmFernsehFonds Bayern, Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, German Federal Film Board, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Film Center Serbia

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