The Melbourne Festival – part 2 …Film – The Love of Books: A Sarajevo Story

What a powerful documentary, re-enacted cleverly so that once again we come face to face with the waste & devastation of war…..I loved the idea that when one holds a book in your hand you are holding the hand of man – the writer & all the history which goes into creating either a piece of fiction or fact. And what terrible sadness flowed from the knowledge that centuries of tolerance between many ethnicities & religions was wiped out by greed & hatred from a few in such a brief time. Two million books were destroyed before Bosnia, Serbia & Croatia finally signed a declaration of peace at the end of 1995….thankfully over 10,000 books & manuscripts were saved through the bravery & hard work of a few.

Walking back to the tram after watching such a harrowing & gripping movie, I was struck by the peace & beauty of our own state library…how distressing it would be to lose our store of books documenting our much shorter history….

The film reinforced my feeling that Geraldine Brook’s fascinating & powerful novel, ‘People of the Book’, was inspired by this true story/incident.

 I have referenced an excellent blog with some good pictures of both the movie & Sarajevo in all its beauty (a naturally picturesque setting) & ugliness ( after nearly 4 years of war)

The Love of Books: A Sarajevo Story.

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