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Welcome to Sarajevo

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United Kingdom, United States · 1997
Rated R · 1h 43m
Director Michael Winterbottom
Starring Stephen Dillane, Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Goran Visnjic
Genre Drama, History, War

Journalists from the U.K. and America are reporting on the Bosnian war in Sarajevo, where they discover an orphanage being run on the frontline. With the help of an American aid worker, the British journalist named Michael Henderson takes an endangered child with him back to the U.K. where she becomes a part of his family.

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What are critics saying?


Chicago Reader by

It keeps the gag quotient lower than Reds but has a similar effect: more urgent in its desire to make us care about the events it depicts, it nonetheless reduces the war in Bosnia to mere scenery for the hackneyed journey of a world-weary journalist from cynicism to caring activism.


Salon by Charles Taylor

Winterbottom's film is openly a polemic. Messy and visceral, with an articulate, pointed anger that's recognizably British, Welcome to Sarajevo hits with an impact that's not diminished by the fact that Sarajevo's uneasy peace has held.


Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

In keeping with this background, the movie boldly incorporates actual newsreel footage - with authentic images of human suffering, some of them seen in TV reports on the war - into its conventionally scripted and acted story.


ReelViews by James Berardinelli

And, while there's nothing revolutionary or extraordinary about the dramatic narrative, the subtext gives Winterbottom's movie its force.


Austin Chronicle by Marc Savlov

Tomei looks far too fresh-scrubbed to be anywhere near a bloody, messy hell like this, but the rest of the cast is grimly realistic, particularly Harrelson, who manages to bring some goofball credibility to what is essentially a very small role.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

The problem is that Winterbottom has imagined both stories and several others, and tells them in a style designed to feel as if reality has been caught on the fly.

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