BIRN Series Airs on TV in Macedonia

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BIRN’s new documentary about young people and the legacy of war, ‘The Majority Starts Here’, premiered on Wednesday on TV in Macedonia.

The first episode of the documentary was aired on Macedonian cable TV station 24 VESTI on Wednesday afternoon, the second and third episodes follow on Thursday and Friday, while the whole movie will air on Saturday.

The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network launched its promotion of the documentary last week with a premiere in Skopje, Macedonia, followed by premieres in Belgrade, Zagreb, Pristina, Sarajevo and Novi Sad.

“The film documents the journey of six young people through the region and their encounter with nationalism, ethnic tensions, prejudice – key ingredients in the bloody menu of the Balkan wars,” the head of BIRN Macedonia, Ana Petruseva, told the audience of journalists, diplomatic and NGO representatives before the Skopje premiere.

A three-episode version of the documentary is being aired on TV channels across the Balkans.

In the film, six young people from six Balkan countries travel through the region, examining how the conflicts of the past have influenced both their present and their prospects for the future.

Along the way, they come face-to-face with some of the ghosts of the past in the shape of impoverished refugees, military veterans and unrepentant nationalists.

They also see how the nationalist ideas that led to war have been reflected in the region’s economy, culture and even architecture, as they muse on how genuine tolerance and reconciliation can develop in places that have endured such divisive violence.

The Majority Starts Here was produced by BIRN and directed by award-winning film-maker Lode Desmet. In 2006, Desmet and BIRN also produced the film Does Anyone Have a Plan?, about the future status of Kosovo.

The documentary is part of BIRN’s Balkan Transitional Justice project, which aims to improve public understanding of transitional justice issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.