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The Investigator



What is the work of a war crime investigator? Vladimír Dzuro, the main character of this documentary, is the only Czech investigator to have worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. 

The film is inspired by Vladimir Dzuro’s book “The Investigator – Demons of the Balkan War”. The protagonist’s task was to collect evidence against war criminals and perpetrators of ethnic cleansing. His two most significant cases were the Ovcara massacre, linked to back then Vukovar’s Mayor Slavko Dokmanovic and committed by the warlord Zeljko Raznatovic, known as Arkan, and as well as the ethnic cleansing in northwestern Bosnia. What does the Balkans look like today, 25 years after the conflict? What happened to the people who still live in those places, and what about their memories? And most importantly, does “Hague justice” have any meaning and significance for those who went through the worst?

SHOWTIMES | Special Feature: Q+A with Vladimir Dzuro, moderated by Prof. Petr  Kopecky

Thursday, 23 November – 18:30

VYSETROVATEL | 2022 | 74 min | Czech Republic, Croatia

PRODUCTIONHana Blaha Silarova – Frame Films; Restart, HRT, CzechTV, Al Jazeera Balkans
IDEAMartina Santava
EDITINGVladimir Gojun
LANGUAGECzech, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, English


Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, 2022 | FIPADOC, 2023 | ZagrebDox, 2023 | Millennium Docs Against Gravity, 2023 | Underhill Fest, 2023 | Dokufest, 2023 | Al Jazeera Balkans Documentary Film Festival, 2023 | One World Slovakia, 2023


I was curious about the intervention of the international community and its belief that it could bring order to the chaos by setting up The Hague Tribunal. I was interested in whether this intervention of justice from outside had, in their minds, helped or harmed the people in these states. I must say, however, that in the early days of the film, I had no idea what level of refusal and disappointment I would encounter.When we started working on the feature five years ago, The Hague Tribunal was coming to a close – and I thought it was the right time to start asking ourselves what it was good for. Not for the past, but for the future. (Cineuropa interview)


Viktor Portel is the director of documentary films and the head of the documentation department of Post Bellum o.p.s. where he works as the producer and dramaturgist of the audiovisual content called ‘Memory of the Nation’. Recent projects are, for example, the exhibition ‘Memory of the Nation’ (2018) in the basement of the former Stalin’s monument, the installation Trabi (Signal Festival 2019) or the screening ‘Memory of the Nation: 1989 presented on the 30th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution’. As a trainer, he tries to help start documentary projects in places where remembrance is not easy (Russia, Burma, Cuba). He is the author and the director of a large part of the TV series ‘Stories of the 20th Century’. For his film ‘The Heart of Havel’ (2013), he won the 1st Czech Press Photo Awards in the Online News and Reportage category. He graduated from the Department of Documentary Filmmaking at FAMU, Prague.