Predrag ‘Gaga’ Antonijevic, director and producer of ‘Dara of Jasenovac’, Serbia’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 2021 Oscars, which deals with crimes committed at the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia, said on Sunday that he intends to sue the Los Angeles Times for denying war crimes committed against Serbs at the WWII camp.
“This is no longer a question of film and criticism, but it represents a complete denial of the genocide committed against Serbs during the Independent State of Croatia and a serious insult to all the victims,” Antonijevic told the Nova.rs website.
In the Los Angeles Times review on February 4, Robert Abele claimed that the “veneer of historical reality is thin” in Antonijevic’s film.
Abele wrote that although the fascist Ustasa movement that ran the WWII-era Independent State of Croatia was “a nightmarish puppet regime of the Axis powers” and the Jasenovac concentration camp was “one more hell on Earth for Jews”, Antonijevic appears to be using his film to score political points amid a “longstanding regional feud” between Serbs and Croats.
“What director Antonijevic’s epic of barbarism and sentimentality wants to drive home is that the annihilation of ethnic Serbs was the real focus [of the Jasenovac camp], and that children got their own camp,” he said.
The Los Angeles Times review came two weeks after an article in US entertainment business magazine Variety described ‘Dara of Jasenovac’ as “Serbian nationalist propaganda” and said that it displays “unconcealed anti-Croatian, anti-Catholic nativism”.
“Variety at least wrote that everything is true, but that the film is supposedly propaganda, although I don’t know how the truth can be propaganda. In the LA Times, it’s written that the movie is not exactly historical and that I pushed Serbs and children into the story about Jasenovac,” Antonijevic said.
US distribution of ‘Dara of Jasenovac’ started on Friday, while the Serbian premiere is scheduled for April 21, the day before the anniversary of the last attempted break-out by inmates at the concentration camp before the Ustasa shut it down and the Independent State of Croatia fell.
‘Dara of Jasenovac’ was partly backed by the Film Center Serbia, a state institution, and the Serbian government.
It also ran into controversy this month when the IMDb film website disabled its rating option for the film after organised voting by Serbs and Croats to raise or reduce its approval rating.
https://balkaninsight.com/2021/02/08/se ... lm-review/
Noemon got my genocide juices flowing with that xinjiang thread, so at the risk of lending legitimacy to that with talk of an actual historical event, i posit the question; as Serbs aren't a protected class like Jews and as of 2018 - Chinese muslims - is it ok to openly deny the genocide of 800,000 serbs during ww2 in western media? Can we compare and contrast as to why Serbs aren't protected. I can think of a few purely geopolitical reasons. They of course apply to the other two examples.
Or do you believe in freedom of speech for private publications. After all a review is just an opinion and opinions aren't crimes at least not in north America; a film review denying the scale and severity of Auschwitz for example would totally happen if somebody felt like it, right? right?