Filmdelights Picks Up Viktor Portel’s The Investigator

    The Investigator by Viktor Portel The Investigator by Viktor Portel credit: Colonel Jacek Kita

    PRAGUE: Vienna-based Filmdelights has acquired international sales rights to Czech/Croatian long documentary The Investigator / Vyšetřovatel. The film directed by Viktor Portel was selected for both Opus Bonum and Czech Joy sections at the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, running 25 – 30 October 2022.

    Vladimír Dzuro is the first Czech investigator to have worked for the International Criminal Tribunal in ex-Yugoslavia. He collected evidence against war criminals and hunted perpetrators of ethnic cleansing. The two biggest cases include the Ovčara massacre related to Vukovar's mayor Slavko Dokmanović, and the ethnic cleansing committed by the warlord Željko Ražnatović Arkan. We join Vladimír Dzuro on his metaphorical and real journey across the places of investigation in the former Yugoslavia and meet some survivors of these cases.

    "We shot The Investigator as a cinematic and personal story of the first Czech investigator of the Yugoslav Wars by the Hague Tribunal. When we were shooting the film, one year ago, it seemed that we were portraying Europe's past and that we were, together with our character, re-thinking something that belonged to history. But due to the war that was started by Russians in Ukraine, the international justice mechanism is a very timely topic. The film shows why it is important to talk about the past, listen to the victims and question again and again what was and was not done", producer Hana Blaha Šilarová told FNE.

    The film is inspired by Vladimir Dzuro’s bestselling book The Investigator – Demons of the Balkan War, published in the Czech Republic by Grada Publishing (2017) as Vyšetřovatel – Démoni balkánské války a světská spravedlnost, and in the USA by Potomac Books (2019).

    Hana Blaha Šilarová is producing through Czech Frame Films in coproduction with Oliver Sertić through Croatian Restart and Martina Šantavá through Czech Television, as well as the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) and Al Jazeera Balkans. The executive producers are Karolína Fránková, Suzana Erbežnik and Roman Blaas.

    The film was supported by the Czech Film Fund, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the City of Zagreb and the Vukorav-Srijem County.