On the Path (Na putu)

Bosnia and Herzegovina 2002, Feature film, 90' | Director, Screenplay Jasmila Žbanic | DoP Christine A. Maier | Editor Miralem Zubcevic | Sound Igor Camo | Cast Fatima Fazlagic, Saša Duric, Marija Tabori, Nedžad Hadžialic, Almir Kurt, Anesa Mehmedbašic, Mirhad Gljiva, Sabina Cavc | Production Deblokada Produkcija, Coop 99 Filmproduktion, Pola Pandora Filmproduktion, Production Živa

Flight controller Amar loses his job because he was drunk while on duty. His girlfriend Luna begins to worry about their future together. Amar finds a job in a Muslim community, hours away from where they live. after quite some time has elapsed, during which they have had no contact with each other, is Luna allowed to visit Amar in this community of conservative Wahhabis in its idyllic lakeside location. She notices that the men and veiled women live in strict segregation and are closely watched. Luna asks Amar to return home with her but Amar insists that life in this isolated community of faithful followers has brought him peace and also keeps him from drinking.

When he returns home a few weeks later, Luna realises that Amar's attitude to religion has fundamentally changed. Amar claims that his only interest is to become a better person, but Luna finds it extremely difficult to follow his line of thinking. She begins to question everything that she has believed in, even her desire to have a child. As the wounds of a tragic war-filled past continue to haunt her, Luna tears herself apart searching if love is truly enough to keep her and Amar together on the path to a lifetime of happiness.

For director and scriptwriter Jasmila Žbanić, Na putu is above all a film about changes - in the individual, but also in society. "I was especially interested in how women deal with change. And in this change in the form of an ultimatum in a woman's life that is involved when she is or becomes a mother". Religion is a subject that is becoming ever more important in a multi-cultural society such as Bosnia. With her film she wants not so much to find answers, but to provoke questions: "How can we retain mutual respect for one another? And how far do we allow another person to change?"


JASMILA ŽBANIC was born in 1974 in Sarajevo, where she attended the Academy of Performing Arts. In 1995, she worked as a puppeteer at the Bread and Puppet Theatre in the USA. In 1997, she founded an artists’ association in Sarajevo and later a film production company named Deblokada, with which she produced ten short films and documentaries and art videos that were shown to great acclaim at international festivals and museums. Grbavica, her debut as a feature film director, won the Golden Berlin Bear in 2007. Some short films by Žbanić, To & Fro, Birthday and Images from the Corner, can also be seen in the Focus Around the Balkans at the Dortmund|Cologne International Women's Film Festival.

Jasmila Žbanic, Jasmila Zbanic
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria
Feature Film
Focus: Around the Balkans, Opening Film