Resolution 819 Giacomo Battiato

Resolution 819 Giacomo Battiato
The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 819 in April of 1993, in response to the growing humanitarian concern in Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serb paramilitary units posed a threat to the civilian populace. Amongst other things, the Resolution reiterated the need for a ceasefire in Bosnia and Herzegovina, specifying the need for Muslim safety in Srebrenica from armed attacks. Of course, those familiar with the Srebrenica genocide in July, 1995 know the ineffectiveness of this resolution, when the UN's inability to support the Dutch battalion in place led to the slaughtering of refugees by Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic (played in this film by Dimitrije Ilic) and his band of merry men. Television vet Giacomo Battatio's film delivers a dramatization of the latter investigation of these events, with the fictional Jacques Calvez (Benoit Magimel) stepping in to cinematically tighten up the six-year inquiry by a French investigator. Interviews with survivors lead to re-enactments of the many horrifying events, such as a roomful of people, trapped, cut down by a machinegun, leading up to discoveries of body mutilation and conspiracy, and the eventual trial by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. As is the case with most films of this nature, a male/female bond is struck between Calvez and a Polish Forensics expert (Karolina Gruszka), which reaches its height when a landmine is inadvertently triggered. For all of Resolution 819's nobility and sincere intentions in sticking respectfully to the events, delivering requisite horror without exploitation, it simply doesn't constitute an actual film, feeling desultory at best. The investigation is rightfully at the centre of the movie, giving the audience a sense of relevant history, but there is little beyond this, leaving one to wonder if a documentary might have been a better route to take. Performances and the technical package prove impressive, however, giving a stronger sense of potential unfulfilled than actual success. No supplements are included with the DVD release. (Mongrel Media)