Review: Let There Be Colour (2020)

still from the film

Last September, the first Gay Pride took place on the streets of Sarajevo. It was deemed to be a high-risk event due to the conservative tendencies and religious indoctrination in the society of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fortunately, the event passed without any incidents that were worth mentioning.

The up-and-coming and quite prolific Srebrenica-born, Rome-based filmmaker Ado Hasanović tried to capture the parade and the atmosphere building before it in Sarajevo and its rural surroundings. The result is the short documentary Let There Be Colour that premiered at the documentary competition of Sarajevo Film Festival.

In the style that mostly resembles television news reports, Hasanović interviews anonymous people asking their opinions about the Pride, gay community and LGBT+ rights. Their answers are somewhat expected: conservatives would find the foothold for their attitude in religious teachings, while the more tolerant ones would cite the human rights, democracy and the freedom of expression as the ideals they aim for. Interviews, sometimes spoken directly to the camera, other times edited to stay off-screen, are intersected with the footage taken on and around the Pride and some dramaturgical interventions – two of the musicians are practising their instruments, while a young woman, later credited as the actress, prepares to leave her rural home and join the event.

Truth to be told, Let There Be Colour is not a film of high artistic ambitions. On the other hand, Hasanović’s enthusiasm in assuming different roles (as a director, principal writer and producer, cinematographer and the narrator). This is also a suggestion that the film plays other kind of ball game, aiming at raising the awareness among the population about the necessity of tolerance and acceptance of LGBT+ people and their iconography, including the Pride parade. One thing is certain, it is a noble effort of social activism with its heart in the right place.

Courtesy of Ado Hasanović

Original title: Neka bude šareno
Year: 2020
Runtime: 15’ 40’’
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Language: Bosnian
Directed by: Ado Hasanović
Written by: Ado Hasanović, Chiara Cruciatti, Prisca van der Mullen
Cast: Prisca van der Mullen, Alem Hatibović, Ludovica Filomeno
Narrator: Ado Hasanović
Cinematography by: Ado Hasanović
Editing by: Giulia Floria Andorka
Music by: Flora Cheng
Sound by: Livio Paulet
Colourist: Leonardo Kurtz
Graphics by: Senida Mujanović
Assistant director: Marija Šuković
Produced by: Ado Hasanović
Executive producers: Giulia Rosa, Almir Berkovac, Ado Hasanović
Production companies: Admon Film, Rosa Film
Supported by: US Aid, BHRI, IOM