The White Fortress shows struggles of modern Sarajevo through lens of love
After months moving around to different republics of the former Yugoslavia and Austria the trio reunited with Drljaca’s father and the family came to Toronto in March 1993.
“I had a relationship with the city after the war,” said Drljaca, who has been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best original screenplay for The White Fortress. “I started travelling in 2001, that was the first time I went back. I was 18. Before that I didn’t really want to engage with the topic that much. I think I was quite traumatized by everything.
“But I realized as I entered film school, I realized that there was this untapped creative need, that can also be therapeutic, to kind of deal with that city. To deal with themes. To deal with the kind of unresolved ideas I had about that space.”
The White Fortress is an emotionally tough story about the long, lingering after-effects of war and the strength of love. In this case it’s the kind of teenage star-crossed love that isn’t groundbreaking, yet Drljaca manages to build off the familiar story of a touching portrait of a generation stuck in a socially divided city that is still picking through the debris of its dark, troubled past.