Film on horrors of Bosnian war wins Rome festival

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ROME (Reuters) - “Resolution 819,” a film about the Srebrenica massacre in the last months of Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war, won the top prize at the Rome film festival Friday.

A French production directed by Italy’s Giacomo Battiato, the film tells the true story of a policeman sent by the U.N.’s highest court to investigate the disappearance of 8,000 Muslim men and boys from the Bosnian town after it fell to Bosnian Serb forces.

The film spares the audience little of the harrowing evidence the policeman gathers over the years on the slaughter in what was supposed to be a U.N. safe area.

That evidence served as the basis for the indictment for genocide of Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic, who was arrested in July. His wartime commander Ratko Mladic, also indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, is still at large.

The title refers to a 1993 U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an end to armed Serb attacks on Srebrenica.

“Resolution 819” won the prize for best film awarded by members of the public. The critics’ award went to “Opium War,” by Afghan director Siddiq Barmak, about the strains between ordinary Afghans and Western troops fighting the Taliban.

“I think the public shared my point of view, and that is the anger, the pain toward the worst war since World War Two, a war that happened before our eyes,” Battiato said at the awards ceremony.

Ukrainian Bohdan Stupka, a former culture minister, scooped the best actor prize for his portrayal of a wealthy oligarch in need of a heart transplant in “With a Warm Heart,” a grotesque Polish comedy.

Italy’s Donatella Finocchiaro won the best actress award for her performance as a female mafia boss in Italy’s “Galantuomini.”

Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Michael Roddy