Savior (1998)

 

 

Director:  Predrag Antonijevic. 

Starring:  Dennis Quaid (Joshua Rose/Guy), Natasa Ninkovic (Vera), Nastassja Kinski (Maria Rose), Pascal Rollin (Paris Priest), Catlin Foster (Christian), Stellan SkarsgDrd (Peter), John Maclaren (Colonel), Irfan Mensur (Drill Sergeant), Sergej Trifunovic (Goran), Kosta Andrejevic (Boy on Bridge), Ljiljana Krstic (Old Lady), Sanja Zogovic (Girl On Bridge), Veljko Otasevic (Orthodox Priest), Marina Bukvicki (Muslim Girl), Dusan Perkovic (Uncle Ratko).

a  hard-hearted Foreign Legion mercenary softens his heart when confronted with atrocities during the fighting in Bosnia

 

 

Good movie, but be warned that there are disturbing scenes of genocide.  In France, Joshua Rose, a military man,  loses his wife and son in a restaurant bombing.  Since there was talk of Muslim fundamentalists threatening to bomb certain targets in the area, he proceeds down the street to a mosque where he opens fire killing several worshipers.  He changes his name and joins the French foreign legion.  He ends up serving as a sniper for the Serbs in Bosnia in 1993. 

Still very depressed and hateful over the loss of his family, he kills a young boy, probably a Muslim, trying to retrieve his goat.  (This, supposedly, in response to a young girl throwing a grenade at his best army buddy, killing him.) 

We next see him with a sadistic Serbian soldier, Goran, who loves killing Muslims. He takes delight in committing atrocities.  And Joshua Rose just watches him do it.  What will it take to soften the heart of Joshua so he can rejoin the human race? 

It takes a young pregnant Serbian woman, Vera, who Goran brutalizes because her baby was conceived by rape in a Muslim prison camp, which is considered worse than a crime by the Serbs.  Joshua finally snaps out of the worst of his mental fog enough to protect the Serbian woman and help deliver her baby. 

The woman gives birth to her child and Joshua's heart further softens when he has to take care of the child, because the woman herself conceives of herself as having committed a crime -- not having killed herself rather than give birth to a half Muslim child.  This kind of ethnic prejudice and hatred takes us back to the hatreds and crimes of the Nazi era (which Tito had only stifled, not eliminated, under his communist dictatorship). 

Now that Joshua has stirred from his hard-heartedness, will he be able to protect this girl baby from her mother and her racist/ethnicist family?  And if he can, can he also protect the woman and child from the Muslim desire for revenge? 

I enjoyed the movie, but I found the genocide scenes very disturbing.  So be warned.  (But genocide was very much a part of the real history of the war. )

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.   

 


Historical Background:

 

See the review for "Harrison's Flowers".

 

 

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