SEVEN THOUSAND SOULS is a documentary - a feature film about the suffering of Serbian and Russian soldiers and interned civilians in Austro-Hungarian camps on the territory of today's Czech...
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SEVEN THOUSAND SOULS is a documentary - a feature film about the suffering of Serbian and Russian soldiers and interned civilians in Austro-Hungarian camps on the territory of today's Czech Republic, Jindrihovice and Broumov. The camps had about 500 facilities where there were about 60,000 prisoners of war. Extremely difficult working conditions, no food, no shoes and clothes, winter and infectious diseases, all this affected the fact that 7,100 Serbs did not survive the camps. There is a mausoleum in Jindrihovice where the remains are victims of these camps - 7100 Serbs and 189 Russians. It is the second largest Serbian tomb in the world. The film also contains memories of soldiers who survived the camps, writen by a Dutch journalist Henri Aber in 1919. The descendants of soldiers from Serbia also speak in the film. The topic of Serbian prisoners and internees from the First World War is a neglected topic and even today, during the first centenary of the end of the First World War, ...
International Symbolic Art Film Festival, Saint-Petersburg
It is a very uncomfortable subject to speak on. But speaking about it is a necessity,
especially nowadays. World War I aligned with World War II are still very sensitive
topics in all countries-participants. Every family has a story to tell, every family has a great grandfather or great grandmother who sacrificed a lot during these devastating events.
That's what makes it so personal.
But no matter how hard and how uncomfortable this subject actually is, it's really important to reanimate those events in our memories every once in a while to make sure those heroes are not forgotten and their noble purposes are captivated with great gratitude.
That is definitely something to thank the Director of this film for.
That being said, let's try to analyze the movie itself. Being a director in contradiction to being a historian means while telling the same exact story to appeal to the feelings of the watcher besides providing dry information. It's just more likely to find a response in the hearts of the young generation who is getting less and less connected to those events.
And it seems to be the goal of "Seven thousand souls".
Narrator puts in the spotlight civil heroes of labor who generally get much less attention than soldiers themselves. All the stories mentioned in the film are very personal, each character has a face, a life, his own heroic path through the war. That raises the level of compassion drastically.
A lot of priceless photographs demonstrated in the film serve the same cause - to raise the compassion, to literally engrave those images in our memories, and some staged scenes to raise that bar even higher.
It ends with the quote by John F. Kennedy: "Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names", I'd say, that sums up the movie perfectly.
London International Monthly Film Festival - London
SEVEN THOUSAND SOULS
''Seven Thousand Souls'' is the outstanding and extraordinary documentary by Sanjin Miric. This piece of artistic history is about the story of the lost 7,100 men that never left the Austro-Hungarian training camps, after the Great War. Miric succeeds to deliver an all around great film that combines story telling and education, emotionally drained and with a great message.
Firstly it has a very important premise, this multi awarded documentary was also funded by the Serbian Ministry of Culture which clarifies the historical accuracy of the events. The production design quality excellence is obvious despite the suprisngly low budget of 40,000 EUROS, considering there is a huge plethora of flashbacks, costumes, special vfx and locations.
The directing is energetic, brilliantly holding a great pace throughout the film without overstaying itself. There is no dialogue on the representative historical flashbacks but you can feel the scenes. The beautiful script is accompanied with sweet visuals, well done cinematography and color grading.
There is nothing negative to say about this film, everything is rightly done with only one questionable choice, the final quote by J. F Kennedy that suggests to forgive but never forget. This quote captures the rapid Balkan spirit that is always war hungry yet we would love to see a quote from Serbian or orthodox literature and philosophy.
However, this is secondary as we witness an amazing dramatic war piece. We cannot wait to see what is next for the director Sanjin Miric.
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