News » Aug 10, 2011
"Mostar Round-Trip" a film by David Fisher
The second part of David Fisher's family trilogy, which begun in 2000 with "Love Inventory". 17-year-old Yuval leaves Israel to attend the UWC international high-school in Mostar, formerly the Croatian- Bosniak frontline during the civil war in Yugoslavia. A year later his father, filmmaker David Fisher follows. As their father- son relationship evolves, we discover the conflicts facing young people away from home.
A year after 17-year-old Yuval leaves home in Israel to attend an international high-school (UWC) in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, filmmaker David Fisher, his father, follows. During three Round-Trips to Mostar, Yuval’s relationships unfold: between him and his father, his Israeli peers and his Spanish girlfriend, Neus. These stories are set against the backdrop of this college, situated on what used to be the frontline between the Croatians and the Bosniaks, during the civil war that ended in 1995. Although Yuval is far from home, this actually brings father and son closer together. Their talks reveal great honesty, maturity and openness towards one another. Footage from Yuval’s childhood accompanies their on-going relationship, but also moments of frustration while Yuval is upset: “How can you expect me to feel at ease and develop intimacy when your camera is always around...”. Yuval’s roommate is Salam, an Israeli Arab, with whom he holds passionate political debates. Salam is a “playboy” and a charmer, so it’s no wonder Yuval brings him a sugar cube to bed, one morning after a bitter fight they had over Middle Eastern politics. With them are also Amitai, who’s romance with Vera from Germany, started following a long nightly discussion of the Holocaust. They are very much in love, but dread the moment in which Amitai will have to go to the army and won’t be able to leave Israel to see Vera; Niv talks very honestly about his encounter with Arab peers, stating that back home the word “Arab” is used in a derogative way amongst his friends, a fact he is now ashamed of. And Niva – she just wants to be an actress and doesn’t know what to expect from her army service. Yuval’s affair with Neus is heart-warming but doomed - because of Yuval’s impending army service. This is during the Gaza War back home and Yuval voices his apprehension about the way the Israeli army is operating. At the end of this journey, David, as well as the viewers, will understand that Yuval’s intense two years in Mostar have actually prepared him for a mature and challenging life as a grown up.
"This film is filled with warmth and love that doesn't only exist in their conversations, but is truly felt as the film moves from one shot to another. The film is unique in the way that Fisher not only observes his maturing son and their strengthening relationship, but also the way in which a documentary film is woven and constructed until it reaches its final shape and form, with Yuval's return to Israel for his IDF conscription day. A MUST SEE." (Yehuda Stav, Yedioth Aharonot)
United World Colleges (UWC):
UWC is an organization that was conceived in the 1950s at the height of the Cold War. Its Honorary President is Nelson Mandela and its President is Queen Noor of Jordan. UWC is the only global educational movement that brings together students from all over the world – selected on personal merit, irrespective of race, religion, politics and the ability to pay – with the explicit aim of fostering peace and international understanding. The founders believed that a lot could be done to overcome religious, cultural and racial misunderstanding and avoid conflict if young people from all over the world could be brought together. It was felt that students aged 16 to 18 would be grounded in their own cultures but still impressionable enough to learn from each other. The organization has 13 colleges all over the world and its headquarters are in London. “Mostar Round-Trip” was produced with the support of Makor Foundation and The Second Authority for Television and Radio - ISRAEL
I’ve been filming Yuval ever since he was born. It’s always been a pleasure to talk to him. He always manages to surprise and win me over. I started making this film because I wanted to be a part of my son’s adventure – he left home to study in an international high-school in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was looking for a way to get close to him, even though he was far away from home. Making this film gave me a golden opportunity to observe my boy’s new life and his friends over there.
I searched for the motivation behind Yuval’s sense of adventure and for what made him go out into the world at such a young age. I discovered a mature and independent young man. I felt proud to see him run his own life, but I still wanted and needed to feel - that he wants and needs me. I joined him on his journey, I looked for ways to talk to him as my equal, but I also realized I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet. At the end of this journey, Yuval got his high-school diploma. Perhaps I deserve some coming-of-age diploma too... While in Mostar I got to know Yuval’s five Israeli peers, living in the dorms with about 100 other girls and boys from all over the world. Life in Mostar was for them a culture shock at first. The civil war is still very visible in the city – the ruins are everywhere and the two sides are separated and hostile towards each other. My camera was present during the Israeli students’ conversations about romances, disappointments, the impending army service and the encounter with Arab students. I discovered impressive youngsters, eloquent, caring, but naturally sometimes naughty. Yes, they are still teenagers, but I have no doubt they will become leaders in various walks of life in the future.
Production company: Fisher Features Production
International sales: Cinephil, http://www.cinephil.co.il
Producer: David Fisher
Cinematography: Eden Sasson, David fisher, Haris Zugor, Goran Kresic
Editor: Hadas Ayalon
Music: Amnon Fisher