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The Cinema of Michael WinterbottomBorders, Intimacy, Terror$
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Bruce Bennett

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167376

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167376.001.0001

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Welcome to Sarajevo

Welcome to Sarajevo

television, ‘documentary fiction’ and border-crossing

(p.25) Chapter One Welcome to Sarajevo
The Cinema of Michael Winterbottom

Bruce Bennett

Columbia University Press

This chapter analyses Michael Winterbottom’s Welcome to Sarajevo (1997), one of his best known works, and the third of his films made for theatrical release. The film serves as a useful introduction to the director’s body of work since it foregrounds several narrative themes and motifs explored repeatedly in other films and TV dramas; displays stylistic and structural patterns that are visible across a number of other films; and employs strategies of storytelling, spectatorial address and emphatic engagement that are employed elsewhere. It can also be considered an attempt to find an appropriately provocative and troubling narrative vehicle for a disturbing and complex sequence of events, as well as an example of how Winterbottom straddles a boundary between mainstream visibility and art cinema obscurity. Thus, the film is an indicator of how Winterbottom’s output is marked by a repetitive tendency.

Keywords:   Welcome to Sarajevo, narrative, mainstream, art cinema

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