Patria Mia – Nomad Direction

documentary by Duska Zagorac

United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2008,  DV, color, 50′
Premiered at  Sarajevo Film Festival Official Selection
Patria Mia poster


After 15 years of exile in London, director Duska Zagorac returns to Bosnia to find a sizeable Chinese community settled in her homeland. Like a mirror image of Bosnia’s past population, the new inhabitants are struggling to define their identity. Combining first person narrative and observational documentary, PATRIA MIA, nomad direction is an intimate portrait of people and the city suspended in time; between war and peace, socialism and capitalism, paradox and tradition.
“I started off by making a film about the Chinese in Bosnia but in the process realized I was also making a film about the Bosnians in exile. At the same time, I found myself a mere observer of the new Bosnia, a society I no longer belonged to. So PATRIA MIA became almost like a letter to my lost country “ (Duska Zagorac, director)

Director’s biography

Born in Vares in December 1969, Duska has been based in London since 1992. She worked for one of the leading international sales agents for independent films Jane Balfour Films, the Documentaries Department at Channel 4 and Media, European Film Fund. Starting her own production company Bethnal Films in 2004, she went on to produce a slate of documentaries for international broadcasters such as BBC, Channel 4, ARTE, AL Jazeera International etc. She made her directorial debut in 2005 with an award winning short fiction film LA APERTURA, which premiered at Venice Film Festival and had a worldwide international distribution through Future Shorts label. Her second short piece THE GOAL IS OBLIVION is part of a bigger experimental dance project in development. PATRIA MIA, NOMAD DIRECTION is Duska’s first documentary as a director.

“No documentary this year beguiled me more than this revelatory and quietly
lyrical portrait of the sizeable Chinese population living in present-day Bosnia.
Zagorac, returning to the country after 15 years of exile in London, sees these
migrants as a “mirror of our own dislocation”.

“The Best of 2008” Sight & Sound international film magazine

“A very funny and likeable documentary in which Zagorac, herself a former emigrant to the UK, returns to her home country of Bosnia to find a sizable Chinese community now living there. The terrific characters in the film – a widowed Chinese doctor who giggles about asking for ‘a cock’ instead of ‘a croissant’ as a result of a Bosnian practical joke; a young woman who sings Karaoke in near-perfect Bosnian – give the film it’s optimism, despite the underlying loneliness of some of the stories.”
Wendy Ide, The Times, UK


Sound Recordist: Predrag Dzorda
Director of Photography: Vladimir Trivic
Composer: Dado Dzihan
Online Editor: Ben Putland
Graphic design: Simon Jones
Sound design: Sacha Walker, Zound London
Editor: Andrea Sibers
Director: Duska Zagorac
Producers: Amra Baksic Camo, Duska Zagorac
Production: SCCA/