Simić 2014 Rape

Title Information

Authors: Olivera Simić and Zala Volcic

Title: In the Land of Wartime Rape

Subtitle: Bosnia, Cinema, and Reparation

Journal: Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity

Volume: 2

Issue: 2

Year: 2014

Pages: 377-401

ISSN: 2203-3114 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | Bosnian History, Croatian History, Serbian History | Representations: Films / For Those Who Can Tell No Tales; Types: Wartime Rape / Bosnian War

Full Text

Link: Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity (Free Access)

Additional Information


Olivera Simić, Law School, Griffith University

Zala Volčič, Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies, University of Queensland

Abstract: »This paper focuses on one of the spaces where mass rapes were committed during the Bosnian war of 1992–95: The Vilina Vlas Hotel in Višegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina (‘BiH’). Through an analysis of the film For Those Who Can Tell No Tales by Sarajevo director Jasmila Žbanić, we consider the potential of cinema to address ethno-nationalistic tensions and contribute to the post-conflict pursuit of justice. The film that forms the basis of the analysis is based on the true story of Australian actress Kym Vercoe, who was faced with the legacy of 1990s war atrocities when she visited Višegrad as a tourist in 2008. Following the recommendations of a guidebook, she stayed at the Vilina Vlas Hotel, not knowing its notorious history as a camp where Bosnian Muslim and Croatian women were raped by Serbian soldiers on a mass scale during the war. In post-war BiH, dealing with past war crimes, including mass atrocities and systematic rape, has been a delicate and contentious process. Many scholars have been critical of the way that the International Criminal Tribunal trials for the former Yugoslavia have approached the challenges of treating rape as a war crime. This paper considers the question of whether cinema can help to contribute to long-term processes of truth-seeking as part of this process. We argue that Žbanić uses her film as a strategy for resistance, intervention, and justice, while promoting symbolic reparation.« (Source: Griffith Journal of Law & Human Dignity)


  I Introduction (p. 378)
  II Wartime Rapes in Višegrad (p. 380)
  III Cinema as a Medium of Symbolic Reparation (p. 383)
  IV The Cinema of Rapes of Bosnian Muslim and Croatian Women (p. 387)
  V Some Reflections on Dealing with Places of Crime: Consuming, Mourning, Deleting (p. 391)
  VI Conclusion (p. 395)
  Reference List (p. 397)
    A Articles/Books/Reports (p. 397)
    B Cases (p. 399)
    C Other (p. 399)

Wikipedia: Jasmila Žbanić: For Those Who Can Tell No Tales; Wartime sexual violence: Bosnian War, Rape during the Bosnian War

Added: January 24, 2015 – Last updated: January 24, 2015