Editor's Pick: Not your typical war story

Tahija Vikalo and director Nathalie Applewhite tour war-torn Sarajevo in 1998.

Tahija Vikalo and director Nathalie Applewhite tour war-torn Sarajevo in 1998.

Photo by René Lego

Life during wartime can be very confusing as people try to get a grip on what distinguishes us from the enemy. Sometimes, as in the ongoing Balkan war, it’s not even clear that the enemy is an enemy.

The two young women introduced to us in René Lego and Nathalie Applewhite’s documentary “Picture Me an Enemy,” Tahija Vikalo (G’01) and master of liberal arts student Natasa Borcanin, share the same hopes, dreams and fears as other women around the world. Yet they are not the same, according to the combatants in the Balkans, for Vikalo is a Bosnian Muslim and Borcanin the daughter of a Serb father and a Croatian mother. Through interviews, observation and tours of their native land, the film reveals the complexities of the Balkan conflict and, by extension, war in general.

The documentary’s theatrical debut takes place tonight at International House. After the film, the audience will have a chance to talk with Borcanin and Vikalo. At 9 p.m., a panel discussion will connect the issues raised in the film with the current “war on terror” and conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Panelists include Giandomenico Picco, former assistant secretary-general for political affairs at the United Nations, and author and media critic Jack Shaheen.

—S.S.

- “PICTURE ME AN ENEMY”: 8 p.m. at International House, 3701 Chestnut St.; dialogue and panel discussion follow screening. Free.

Originally published on October 3, 2002