Emir Kusturica is not Kusturica

Emir Kusturica is not Kusturica

Banja Luka, January 8, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

Prominent BiH writer, Abdulah Sidran, shocked the public opinion in the state several days ago when, in an interview, he said that famous movie editor Emir Kusturica is, in fact, Pantelija Milisavljevic and that the “original” Kusturica died in battle in 1993, near Sarajevo.

Similar stories had appeared in the media a long time ago, but Sidran’s statement is especially significant because he and Kusturica were great friends before the war in BiH. Sidran was the screenwriter for two of Kusturica movies: “Do you remember Dolly Bell” and “When father was away for business”.

During the war they were on the opposite sides since Kusturica went over to Serbia, which Sidran consider the aggressor state. Sidran spent the duration of the war in BiH, on the side of Bosnian Muslims. They met again in 2010 and, after that, Sidran didn’t mentioned two Kusturica identities.

In the interview for TV Alfa, Sidran stated that the “original” Kusturica was the commander of one military unit in Sarajevo and died in the battle in an attempt to free the city from “Chetniks” on the hills.

“The man who presents himself as Kusturica is Pantelija Milisavljevic, a man whom Slobodan Milosevic Secret service gave that role. Secret services found a similar looking man, educated him and taught him about movie making. The “original” Kusturica was killed in the battle and buried on Trebevic hill, on a secret place which is now in Republic of Srpska, said Sidran.

He added that the place of Kusturica’s unmarked grave is known just to a small group of his fellow soldiers who visit the place at night. Sidran said that it is time to break the silence about the true destiny of the great moviemaker and that his remains be brought to Sarajevo.

As evidence for his statement, Sidran showed his text in “Dani” magazine from 1993, in which he had stated that he met the real Kusturica on the battlefield, near Sarajevo, where he was commander. Several months after this meeting, said Sidran, the “original” Kusturica was dead and Pantelija took his place in the movie history.

“Emir was a child of this city and it would be a normal thing that he died defending his friends and Sarajevo. It is necessary to give him the place in Sarajevo history, which belongs to the real Emir Kusturica. Pantelija Milisavljevic can do what he wants, but emir Kusturica is our man, shahid, and must have glory for all times”, said Sidran.

Emir Kusturica, or Pantelija Milisavljevic, still has not answered on this accusation.