RETURN TO EUROPE
Award-winning ten-part TV documentary
For many people the word “Balkans” brings to mind the dark side of Europe. Isolated for decades by the Iron Curtain, close to economic ruin after its fall and shattered by bloody nationality conflicts, the region on the south-eastern edge of the continent is seen as hopelessly backward, violent and inspiring little confidence. The negative image of the “conditions in the Balkans”, which have only little in common with Western democratic values, is deeply rooted – but does this really reflect the current reality?
The documentary series takes a fresh look at the regions in south-eastern Europe and the people living in them, while the individual episodes highlight the circumstances they live under in each region. The first series shows two of Europe’s newest states, Kosovo and Montenegro, their quest for independence and the consequences. The original countryside and the colourful facades of the capital Tirana demythologize the existing images of Albania. Unknown rites of the Macedonian marriage ceremonies, the Korrida of Bosnia and their folk dances show the hitherto almost unknown sides of the Balkans. The economic success of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the most affected successor country of Yugoslavia, reveals the direction in which the development of Europe is going. In all countries the commitment and the hope of young people to be part of “pax europea” can be seen and felt.