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DirectorMiroslav Terzic
ProducerWest End Productions; Nora Production Group, Spiritus Movens, SCCA/pro.ba
WriterElma Tataragic
CastSnezana Bogdanovic, Marko Bacovic, Jovana Stojiljkovic, Vesna Trivalic, Dragana Varagic, Pavle Cemerikic
EditorMilena Z. Petrovic
CameraDamjan Radovanovic
Original TitleŠAVOVI
Length97 min
CountrySerbia/Slovenia/Croatia/Bosnia and Herzegovina
SectionCurrent Relevant Cinema
ScreeningSaturday 9 November | 21:15 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag

A powerful film inspired by true case of Serbian seamstress who had been searching for her “dead son” for almost two decades. Best European Film at this year’s Berlinale. The screening will be followed by Q&A with the actress Snežana Bogdanović by Movies That Matter artistic director Margje de Koning.


Based on true events, the film takes place in contemporary Belgrade, 18 years after a young seamstress was coldly informed of her newborn’s sudden death. She still believes the infant was stolen from her in hospital. Dismissed by others as paranoid and with a mother’s determination, she summons the strength for one last battle against the police, the hospital bureaucracy and even her own family to uncover the truth. An emotional story of one of a hundred families who have suffered the same fate in Serbia, featuring Snezana Bogdanovic, one of the most prominent actresses from former Yugoslavia. The film had its world premiere in the Panorama section at Berlinale and won the Europa Cinemas Label for great direction, cinematography, script, editing and superior performances.

Festivals & Awards (selection)

Berlinale, 2019 – Europa Cinemas Label as Best European Film (Panorama) | Festival del Cinema Europeo, Italy 2019  – Best Screenplay | Las Palmas Film Festival, 2019 – Best Actress (Snezana Bogdanovic), Dunia Ayaso Award (Elma Tataragic) | Belgrade International Film Festival, FEST 2019 – Best Actress, Critics’ Award for best film in the region, FIPRESCI prize | Beijing International Film Festival 2019 – Forward Future Award (Best new Screenwriter) | Sopot Film Festival, 2019 – Best Actress | Pula Film Festival 2019 – Best minority co-production

Director’s statement

I became a father for the first time in 2001. That same year, I heard the story about the abductions of the newborn babies in hospitals. The birth that was about to happen, provoked fear in me, not only due to the natural question if everything would be all right, but rather whether we would fall into a similar turn of events. Decisive in fighting this battle, I started to dig, investigate archives and look for witness that wanted and had something to tell about this matter; a matter that rarely rises in the press and seems more as a fiction then reality. I’ve found in Archives of “Politika” (the oldest and most popular newspaper in Serbia) dozens of articles about abductions of the newborns. The majority of the cases had occurred during the late eighties and early nineties in the dawn of the war that tore Yugoslavia apart. I saw these events as the ultimate evidence of our human and moral deterioration that we still have not recovered from. There are over 500 different stories and many unheard voices. I’ve decided to tell one of them.