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12 November 2019: Logbook Serbistan


Logbook Serbistan
Želimir Žilnik, 2015, 94 min

"The Serbian asylum system has to deal with dozens of cases every day from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Ghana, as well as many other countries. Difficult travelling conditions, trafficking, and human rights abuses are just some of the obstacles that asylum seekers face before entering Serbia. Želimir Žilnik’s docudrama, written in collaboration with his protagonists, follows the lives of illegal migrants and asylum-seekers who are housed in refugee centres in Serbia following dramatic flights from war and destitution.

These displaced people have powerful stories to tell and Žilnik attempts to faithfully retell these peoples struggle to attain citizenship and ultimately a sense of security and belonging in a new country. Logbook Serbistan puts forward representations of suffering and trauma without necessarily rendering those that it depicts as victims. As the film progresses the central question of the role that Serbia will play in these people’s lives becomes more pronounced, will it be merely a stopover or could they, perhaps, settle down and start a new life?." – DA Films

Part of the 21st Century Žilnik survey