SOUR SPRINGS

By Kumjana NOVAKOVA, Guillermo CARRERAS-CANDI

ATZUCAC - as PROD

Drama - Development 2017

Rob is a Dutch war veteran who served on the Blue Helmet’s battalion located at Srebrenica during the Bosnian war.
He has returned to Srebrenica where he currently lives. Through his gaze we’ll discover the complexities between past and today’s life in one of the most painful locations in Europe.

    • Year of production
    • 2017
    • Genres
    • Drama, Documentary, Biography
    • Countries
    • SPAIN, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, NETHERLANDS, MACEDONIA
    • Languages
    • DUTCH, BOSNIAN
    • Duration
    • 85 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Kumjana NOVAKOVA, Guillermo CARRERAS-CANDI
    • Writer(s)
    • Kumjana NOVAKOVA
    • Producer(s)
    • Carreras-candi GUILLEM (ATZUCAC)
    • Synopsis
    • Sour Springs focus on the life story of Rob, a former Dutch ‘Blue Helmet’ who served as peacekeeper in Srebrenica in 1995. Five years ago Rob decided to move back to Srebrenica. He bought land and built a house on the hill above the Potocari Memorial Centre. Currently he lives there.

      Through Rob’s memories the film will viualize the last twenty-five years of his life, starting from his youth days in the Netherlands until today, when he is living a solitary life in Srebrenica.

      Rob was a young extreme sports fan, working as mechanic on car races in the Netherlands, until he got attracted to the military way of life, joining the Royal Dutch Army in the spring of 1994. After only eight months of training his battalion was selected to become the DutchBat III. The third shift of Dutch forces that serve in the enclave of Srebrenica during the war in Bosnia.

      Those six months changed Rob’s life forever. He was 26 years old. After three years of siege, the situation was extreme. The Muslim population of the surrounding areas have arrived to the ‘safe heaven’ to seek protection - it was overcrowded and despair was all around.
      Although the situation was extreme, Rob has nice memories of the first five months of service. There was a sense of intense brotherhood inside the battalion. Rob feels as being part of an important mission, helping others, and he wants to achieve his duties successfully. He spends lots of hours in the woods, cutting trees. He smuggles a camera and lenses and he takes photos here and there, even if it is forbidden. He meets Avdija, a young local girl with whom he communicates with notes in English even if he doesn’t speak English.

      But everything changes in July 1995.
      More than eight thousand men who are under Rob’s battalion protection will be killed in only three days.

      At the end of July, the Dutchbat III goes back to the Netherlands. The news will start talking about the Srebrenica massacre only few days after Rob’s arrival. The public will soon see the Dutch Battalion as accomplice to the Serbian Army. The worst mass murder in Europe since World War II will be revealed.

      Rob leaves the army few months after his return home. As most of the members of the DutchBat III, he is diagnosed with PTSD.

      Thirteen years pass until he goes back to Srebrenica.
      He decides to stay.

      He is not well accepted by the local communities. He brings memories from the past.
      As in every small rural area, people tend to dislike differences. Rob is different. However now he is part of the land and its history.

      Rob’s life in Srebrenica takes us to other stories, places and characters.
      Srecko, a former Serbian military who lives with his family in the hills surrounding the city. Dragana who lives in Bratunac in an old and half abandoned Refugees Centre. Guber, the old vacation spot where the water springs are located or Bato’s kafana in Bratunac where Bato's wife Sonja, Rob’s best friend, works.
    • Partners & financing
    • Jugo Films, Sarajevo.
      Catalan National Television, TVC-3
Distribution Country
Release date
Distributor
Rights
Local title
Company Country Roles