Jack, The Balkans & I


Montenegro 1974 from Velislav Radev on Vimeo.

In 1972 Congolese-Belgian pop star Jack Roskam moves to Yugoslavia, where he meets and marries his Croatian wife. He becomes the guitarist of one of the most popular local rock bands, Galija.

Being a convinced pacifist, Jack had escaped service in the Belgium army but at the time of the outbreak of the war in Croatia. His convictions are put to another test. As Galija's songs become more Serb-orientated, Jack decides to leave the band. While Yugoslavia's people are forced to choose sides, Jack faces the dilemma to either return to Belgium, or to stay but share the fate of his adoptive country and family and friends. The war will force him to change his Fender Stratocaster for a Kalashnikov and to fight in the Croatian army.

In this road movie, Jack and the Bosnian movie-maker travel through former Yugoslavia, reflecting on the choices they both made in the 1990s wars.

Director: Sergej Kreso

Producer: Denis Vaslin, Volya Films & Pieter Van Huystee Films, 2008