When I was traveling in Sarajevo this summer, meeting with artists and activists who had survived the siege, people kept recommending the films of Srdjan Vuletić. I soon saw why. The first to come into my hands was a 16-minute stunner called “Hop, Skip, and Jump” (2000).
With captivating cinematography and astonishingly minimal dialogue, “Hop, Skip, and Jump” evokes the terror of life in Sarajevo during and after the siege, a terror magnified by the physical proximity — the sheer intimacy — of the perpetrators and their victims. It’s life in a sniper’s sights, life reduced to agonized desperation.
“Hop, Skip, and Jump” is not for the faint of heart. Bearing witness, Vuletić gives us the violence and heartbreak of the siege in the raw. But the film’s extraordinary depth and power lie in its masterfully subtle treatments of gender, ethnic identity, resistance, and passion, allowing the film’s tonal complexities to reverberate long after the final credits roll.
Photograph by the author. “Hop, Skip, and Jump” is not available for distribution in the United States. With the permission of Srdjan Vuletić, I am posting this link to the film, hoping that readers will find their own ways to support Srdjan and other brilliant filmmakers like him.