Mila seeking Senida

Mila is a girl who went missing in May 1992, when Serbian troops entered her village in Bosnia.
Fifty or so village folk, including her mother Senada and her older sister Sanda, went missing or were killed. For sixteen years it was believed that Senida, who was 11 months old at the time, met the same fate. However, Senida’s story had continued. It tells us of how a Serbian soldier found her in a cradle, amidst the remnants of her burnt down house.
Zdenka Eles looks after her for almost a year. In 1993, with the help of social worker Desa, she manages to find her a foster home with the Belgrade family of Jankovic, the home of Zivan and Zivka. Brought up in a well to do middle class orthodox family, she is given the name of Mila Jankovic. Through the years of her upbringing, she adopts a new life and cultural identity. Adolescence, puberty issues and struggle with not knowing her true background, leads Mila to cut her foster family ties.

Two years ago, talking to Mila, social workers decided to find out about her roots, following clues provided by the Jankovic family. They learn about what might possibly be her background, and about her father possibly being Muhamed Becirovic. Following the initial contact, DNA tests are carried out in Novi Sad. Results soon disperse all doubt, Mila Jankovic is indeed Senida Becirovic, daughter of Muhamed and Senada Becirovic.

The intention of the film about Mila, at the very outset of its making, was to tell what is arguably the greatest post-war story in the region of former Yugoslavia. It speaks of major war crimes and tragedies, but also about humanity that emerges in people at such times. Or rather, the course of Mila’s story seemed to be about this at the very start. On the other hand, this is also a story about what Mila, at her age of 17, had to face and what she has yet to face in the future. About the conflict of two very different identities, that, atop of all, belong to peoples who in the nineties waged an extremely bloody war against each other.

However, from the media information about her story, all the way to her 18th birthday, in the period of six months, with camera following events in Mila’s new life, her story becomes something entirely different from the original one. Thus, in front of the camera, Mila learns of the possibility of her sister very likely being alive as well. Along with her mother’s sister and her husband, she travels across Bosnia, embarking on an incredible quest for answers to the question of what happened to her older sister and mother.

 

mila 04 Mila_ MILA__MOJA_SENIDA 01

Film Festivals and awards:

Human Rights Award - 16.Sarajevo Film Festival (July 2010. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
DOK Leipzig (October 2010, Leipzig, Germany)
26.Munich International Documentary Film Festival 2011 (May 2011. Munich, Germany)
DokuFest (July, 2011., Prizren, Kosovo)
12. Mediterranean Film Festival (August, 2011., Široki Brijeg, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Directed by: Robert Tomić Zuber

Year of production: 2010

Producer: Damir Terešak

Production:

Damir Terešak, Boris T.Matić, Amra Bakšić Čamo, Srdan Golubović, Jelena Mitrović, Danijel Hočevar i Miroslav Rezić, Maxima film, Propeler film, SCCA / pro.ba, Baš Čelik, Vertigo / Emotionfilm i Hrvatska radiotelevizija

Running time: 81'