Though the raw beauty of Bosnia often gets tucked away beneath the hardening crust of history, a new film from Felix Löchel of imadeafilm, the skater behind surrealist skate vid, Cliff, threatens to break the nation free of its torrid past and bring its uniqueness to light.
"I wish that people Google more about my country, and try to find some other details than that the First World War started here with shooting Franz Ferdinand, and Second World War, and the War of 92-96," begins DJ and music producer Nenad Kovacevik's voiceover in Löchel's Titos Shelter, a "short picture story" that gives viewers a different look at today's Bosnia. Skateboarders, bomb shelters, slow-motion, and drawn animations by Yannick Stechmeyer-Emden abound in the film, which combines footage from Löchel's summer skateboard trip to Sarajevo with archival footage of the Balkan nation. Basically, Löchel went shooting for "another project," and ended up finding the country's characters and history rich enough for another film.
"The people I met knew a lot about history in general," Löchel tells The Creators Project. "Not only about their own, also about global history and politics. Like the fucked up skater kids could tell you stuff about UN, governments, role of USA in modern times... and so on..." It was a surprise trip to the bomb shelter that dictator Josip Broz Tito secretly built that inspired the film ("I knew from the second I left the shelter I would make a short doc. And it would be called Titos Shelter...a roadtrip from the city to the shelter was my basic concept," Löchel writes), and the emotive result is one that has Löchel considering expanding the piece into a 45-60-minute documentary next year.
Of the experimental nature of the short, says Löchel, "My background is in skateboarding. The intro should keep people awake who are not quite the type of watching a documentary about facts. I wanted to create a feeling about the environment I saw. What I see will always be through the eyes of a skater, even when I will be 80 years old." Watch Titos Shelter in full, below:
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