Sarajevo review: We…, Composition (2022)

Sarajevo Film Festival
Documentary Film Competition
Heart of Sarajevo for Best Short Documentary Film

Screenshot from Visar Jusufi’s short documentary We…, Composition

Being an immigrant myself, plenty of scenes in Visar Jusufi’s short documentary We…, Composition painfully ring the bell; the never ending humiliating process of justifying one’s presence in a foreign country, the things lost in the bureaucratic translation, unexplainably cruel decisions by the authorities, compromises taken to survive… While some people can simply and unbureaucratically apply for residencies and grants, the others have to be inventine should they wish to stay and work in the EU. The recently awarded Kosovar director belongs to the latter group; when he left Germany in 1999 after having lived there for seven years, Jusufi was told by foreigners’ authorities he could always return back. Things look completely different almost two decades later. Back in Germany, he had met nothing but obstacles. A day job became a must, something he also got officially informed about from the German visa department. With ‘no self-employment’ as the imperative and the limitations on the job market, one gets what one can.

The mundane life seen from behind the counter of a bakery is shown as a succession of fast-pacing scanned photographs and short videos. People walk in and out, the pastries are being sold, the fleeting moments shared, money is passed from hand to hand… The clock is ticking in the same slow-passing tempo every single day. Similarly, the same type of written exchange is being performed. The ‘voice-over’ is given in form of logically connected images whose comment is of bureaucratic nature: the scans of director’s correspodence with diverse international film festivals, official letters by the German authorities and the art school, all the final refusals or approvals of all kinds.

We…, Composition is a personal documentary that speaks a universal language of all non EU citizens living in the fortress Europe. The film was awarded Heart of Sarajevo for Best Short Documentary that comes with a prize of 2,000 €.

Screenshot from Visar Jusufi’s short documentary ‘We…, Composition’

Country: Kosovo, Germany
Year: 2022
Runtime: 15′
Production: FILUM
Producer: Visar Jusufi
Written/ Directed by: Visar Jusufi