Culture

"The Liberation War" is heralded as a Hollywood film about the Kosovo war

The story begins with childhood in pre-war Kosovo, where the two protagonists of the film meet at school. War separates them to reunite in New York. With a script by Fitim Krasniqi, who is also the executive producer of the film and directed by director Louis Mandylor, this film - subtitled "the true history of Kosovo, 1997-1998" - aims to show the world what happened during the last war in Kosovo, from the resilience of the people to the harsh reality of the war. It has been heralded as a Hollywood movie so that the world will know the truth

There are many local cinematographic productions based on the narratives of the last war in Kosovo. But what sets The Liberation War apart, at least in terms of caveats, is its ambition and the involvement of an allegedly Hollywood production team, which makes it a film intended for a global audience.

Louis Mandylor, Australian actor and director who, among other things, played in the triptych "My big fat greek wedding" and in an episode of the popular series "Friends", will have the role of director in this project, which is heralded as a film based on a true event. The theme of the film, which will merge into several different genres such as drama, action and romance, will focus on several periods of the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo. It will deal with the pre-war period, the removal of Albanian students from schools, the expulsion of Albanians from work, the war period, as well as the post-war period. "The true history of Kosovo, 1997-1998", is the subtitle of the film.

This narrative will be based on the lives of two protagonists, a couple, separated by war and reunited in New York. Part of the film will also be real references from the events in the war, the massacre of Recak will be treated there as a landmark event of the violence exercised by Serbia during the war, which shocked the world.

Director Louis Mandylor has already arrived in Kosovo. It was expected that the former ambassador of the OSCE, William Walker, would be present as the voice of the massacre of Recak, a participant in the project, but he was unable to appear in a video link in which he welcomed the initiative for this film project.

"This film tells a very interesting and valuable story, it tells a story about Kosovo before the war, during the war and after it, the period of Independence. Kosovo is an extraordinary example of success when talking about new states and not many people know about it. So, this film introduces us to this history of Kosovo and how Albanians were mistreated as if they were second-class citizens. What happened in Kosovo then has started to be forgotten by the world and, according to me, Kosovo is now the most democratic country in Europe and so the world can see through this film what Kosovo really is and how it has changed now", he said. said Walker, adding that the film will also serve as a good opportunity for the participants from Kosovo in this project.

For the director of the film, this story, which will be covered in the film, is very powerful. Through it, the reality of the war will be clearly explained. Pleased to be in Pristina, he expressed his enthusiasm for this project saying that his artistic activity is currently focused on filmmaking, so this project was welcomed by him and he appreciates it as a step at the right time.

"I like to tell untold stories, to reflect and recreate lives that were once lived, that have value for humanity. The story of this film is based on the history of this country from pride to the horrors of war. This story touched me and seemed much different to me and is very close to the hearts of Kosovars, so I believe we have a good opportunity to show something beautiful: bravery and the horrors of violence. Normally, there will be action since it is a movie, despite the fact that the topic is sensitive and serious", said Mandylor, who was also part of the television series "CSI: Miami".

The main purpose of this film turns out to be the fact that in recent years Serbia has produced 13 propaganda films about the war in Kosovo, together with two from Russia, so this film the team headed by Fitim Krasniqi, as executive producer and screenwriter of the film, sees it as a good opportunity to show the reality from the perspective of the people of Kosovo.

"We started making this film to show the world what really happened in Kosovo. 25 years have passed, but the world has not yet seen such a production, which shows the reality of the war in Kosovo with murders, rapes and everything else. I decided to make a script which includes the three periods before, during and after the war, my goal is that this film will be a cause for Kosovo to be promoted and that the Kosovar actors who will be part of this film will be given the opportunity to to play in Hollywood", said Krasniqi.

The film, which is expected to be two hours long, will be shot in several locations in Kosovo, Albania and New York. As Krasniqi, an Albanian-American entrepreneur, has warned, the film project will have a budget of millions and a cast of 37 actors, 15 from Hollywood, while the rest will be selected in Kosovo after the selection auditions.

The team has already been joined by the American producer Kelly Lynn Reiter, who has said that she accepted the invitation, being aware of the historical importance and sensitivity of the film.

"When I spoke with Fitim for the first time, I realized that reading a script that contains a true story is different from hearing that story directly from the screenwriter's mouth. Passion for Profit is contagious. The passion with which he speaks about this history makes us all support this idea and putting ourselves in that position as those who have experienced the war in Kosovo. It makes me want everyone to hear this story," said the actress, expressing that she is grateful to be part of this project and that it can help achieve the film's goal.

Filming for the film "The Liberation War" is expected to start in the middle of the year, while the list of participating actors has not yet been revealed, which, according to the director, will include well-known names of American cinematography. This film is characterized by ambitious goals, including the screening of the film in over 65 countries around the world and 2000 cinemas around the world.

Such initiatives serve as a reminder of the importance that should be given to such a theme, which is intended to be turned into a film. The war as an event belongs to the collective narrative of a people, in this case the Kosovars, therefore the reliance on real references becomes even more evident when the film tries to include real and historical events. The sensibility of such a subject must be spared from any other color, which is decided to be given to it intentionally or unintentionally.