On 11 July 1995 one of the worst atrocities since World War II took place in Srebrenica, Bosnia. The Muslim enclave, to be protected by Dutch soldiers for the UN had abandoned the enclave. Muslim men were separated from women and children; it is estimated that about 8.0000 men have been killed.
The film ‘Neither Here Nor There‘ is a portrayal of the struggles of the Selimovic family from Srebrenica, Bosnia, who resettled in Missouri after the worst single act of genocide in Europe since the end of World War II. The film traces the difficulties refugees have starting over in America, and how ties to the past remain an important, unbreakable part of their lives, especially for war refugees.
More than 8,000 men and teenage boys were murdered in Srebrenica in 1995. Many from the small town made the painful decision to seek refugee status in other countries as “ethnic cleansing” continued unabated. Missouri has become home to the largest Bosnian population outside of their homeland. Having survived the mass execution of their family and friends, the Bosnian refugees find themselves struggling to make a new life in Americas heartland.
The past comes back to haunt the family when they learn that DNA testing identified their father in a mass grave. The film follows the Selimovics on their first trip back to their homeland to a mass funeral in Srebrenica and to reunite with other family.
Sometimes a refugee’s home is neither here nor there. It’s somewhere in-between.
(Note: The film includes harrowing footage from the war, including recently discovered video proving mass executions.)[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=678yUJpuqyE]
Available from: The Videoproject
Running Time: 58 minutes
Gr. 9 – Adult
A film by Kerri Yost, Beth Pike, Stephen Hudnell, Elizabeth Federici
“A moving portrait of a family that survived the massacre of Bosnian Muslim men at Srebrenica, the film subtly but effectively explores issues of immigration, war, and memory. Neither Here Nor There is a beautifully told story of a people, an event, and an entire way of life. Scholars, students, and the public should see it, if only to tell themselves ‘never again’ yet again. Suitable for high school classes and for college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of ethnicity and ethnic conflict, anthropology of refugees and displaced persons, political anthropology, and European studies, as well as general audiences.”
– Jack David Eller, Anthropology Review Database
“Neither Here Nor There is required viewing for anyone wishing to learn more about the Bosnian genocide. It is especially valuable as an introduction to the challenges that refugees face when acclimating to a new life in the U.S. The film tells its story with compassion, intelligence, directness, and occasional humor.”
-Dr. Benjamin Moore, PhD, Associate Professor of English, Fontbonne University
“In Neither Here Nor There, we come to know the Selimovic family from Srebrenica, and are deeply touched by everything that happens to them. This remarkable film tells their story and why it matters in the larger scheme of things.”
– Patrick McCarthy, author of After the Fall: Srebrenica Survivors in St. Louis
Winner, Best Heartland Feature, Kansas City Film Festival
The film is well suited for teaching purposes, although the scenes are graphic at times. It includes a good introductory reader although I think for university students some additional reading is required.