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Between Mountains and Wars

Whilst increasing islamophobia and antisemitism plagues Europe, Jewish communities throughout the world often take extra precaution when conducting religious practises and keeping in function places of worship and congress. However, through an intimate portrait Natali Khalili Tari and Qali Nur’s flm explores a different reality; one filled with hope and humanity.

Ester Kaveson Debevec, Rifka Albahari Raus & Laura Papo Ostojić, three Sephardic Bosnian women not only lived through the 90’s war but have also survived the Second World War. Non Jewish neighbours and friends helped them survive the second world war as children. Almost half a century later, the three women did their utmost to help their fellow Sarajevans survive the siege regardless of ethnicity or religion. Between Mountains and Wars both
serves as a hopeful tale of a community which refuses to be divided as well as a cautionary account of how quickly hateful rhetoric can turn into persecution and war.

  • Natali Khalili Tari
  • Qali Nur
  • Natali Khalili Tari
  • Qali Nur
  • Qali Nur
  • Doris Katana
  • Ester Kaveson Debevec
    Key Cast
  • Rifka Albahari Raus
    Key Cast
  • Laura Papo Ostojić
    Key Cast
  • Natali Khalili Tari
    Director of Photography
  • Natali Khalili Tari
  • Qali Nur
  • Zlatan Menković
    Drone Operator
  • Marjolein Koster
    Drone Operator
  • Natali Khalili Tari
    Drone Operator
  • Tjeerd Nijhof
    Sound Mixing & Mastering
  • Senne van Marissing
    Sound Mixing & Mastering
  • Natali Khalili Tari
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Između Planina i Ratova
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 23, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Language:
    Bosnian, English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    4K PanGH5, DJI 2PRO, HD Canon 6D
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Natali Khalili Tari, Qali Nur

Natali Khalili Tari is a British, Croatian-Iranian freelance filmmaker, DoP, photographer and editor based in London. She holds a BA Hons degree in Photography (University Of East London) and an MA in Migration & Diaspora Studies (SOAS). Khalili Tari works on a diverse array of independent and brand lead projects. This year, she was an editor on 'JEDelve x Adobe' a docu-series for SBTV & Adobe. The series documents the journey of ten young aspiring creatives in the music industry. Most recently, she shot and edited ‘These Hands Tell Stories' a short film that explores Iranian culture and tradition through hands. Khalili Tari’s work looks at subjects where diaspora, migration and culture intersect. Additionally, she makes up one fourth of the ‘Women Create Too’ podcast, that brings together women of colour who work in or aspire to work in the film industry.

Qali Nur (1995) is a Dutch-Somali freelance journalist & filmmaker. Previously she worked as a researcher on the 20-part documentary series ‘In Europe’ produced by the Dutch TV broadcaster the VPRO. Currently, Nur works as an investigative journalist for Lost in Europe (LIEU). LIEU is a project started by a collective of journalists who focus on the plight of unaccompanied (disappeared) migrant children in Europe. Within LIEU, Nur focuses on the pushbacks of unaccompanied children in Europe as well as the lack of adequate mental health care for these children in the Netherlands. Additionally, she is working on an independent documentary about Abdullahi, a resilient Somali young man, who at nine years old fled his home unaccompanied and has been displaced ever since.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Director’s statement
We became inspired to make this flm after a visit to the synagogue in 2019 in Sarajevo. After a small tour by the now narrator, Doris Katana, we went downstairs to the community centre. It was a Tuesday afternoon and several women had come together in the community centre for their weekly Bohoreta Club gathering. We were curious about them and they were equally curious about us. We sat down with them and spoke for more than four hours that day. Particularly with Ester Kaveson Debevec. Initially we had come to Sarajevo to follow up on preliminary research we had done for a potential documentary, however after hearing their stories we both
knew that we wanted to pursue this story.

What drew us in was the fact that these women had experienced and witnessed two of the most devastating wars in European history and had managed to survive to live and tell their stories. Our prerogative was to open the doors to a little known Jewish
community and an invaluable but fading history that is flled with sadness and grief but also hope and humanity. It shows the world that in the face of utter injustice there is always a reason for hope.

In our storytelling we have chosen to use a mix of different flming methods. During interviews we used both hand held close ups as well as a more classic interview styled wide framed stationary shots. Our aim was to both flm as close as possible to the character to take the audience along in their emotions as well as to have some distance which enabled us to capture their gestures, habits and movements, whilst simultaneously introducing more of their environment. Archive footage, aerial shots and dramatization play an important role in illustrating key places and events,
enhancing the historical trajectory of the flm whilst also adding creative dynamic, depth and visual stimulance.

We want this important part of history to be permanently documented and accessible to both people in and outside of the Balkans. Being amongst the few people left of this generation to tell their stories, the three women hope that never again this time truly means never again.