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Jack, the Balkans & I

In 1972, Congolese – Belgian popstar Jack Roskam moves to Yugoslavia, where he meets and marries his Croatian wife. He becomes the guitarist of one of the most popular local rock bands, Galija. Tall, black and adorned with dreadlocks, Jack stands out on stage amongst his mostly Serbian colleagues.

Being a convinced pacifist, Jack had escaped service in the Belgian army, but at the time of the outbreak of the Yugoslavian war his convictions are tested. As Galija’s songs become more Serb orientated, Jack decides to leave the band. While Yugoslavian people are forced to choose sides, Jack faces the dilemma to either return to Belgium or to stay but what will be the fate of his new country and family and friends. The war will force him to exchange his Fender Stratocaster for a Kalashnikov and to fight in the Croatian army.

In this road movie, Jack and the Bosnian filmmaker travel through former Yugoslavia, reflecting on the choices they both made in the war.

Director:  Sergej Kreso

Writer: Sergej Kreso

(Co-)producers: Volya Films, Serendipity Films, IKON

Release Date: 2008

Partners: Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Foundation, CoBO, Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Flanders Image, Thuiskopie Fund, Eurodoc

Length: 60 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Director of photography:  Wiro Felix

Editors: Srdjan Fink

Sound designer:  Hans Tourné

Sound engineer: Slobodan Bajic

Composer: Jack Roskam

Festivals: Cannes 2009 | International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010 | Miami 2010 | Munich | SANFIC | Toronto | San Sebastian | Rio de Janeiro | Bogota | Abu Dhabi | BFI Times London | Hong Kong | Jerusalem

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