1994, Sarajevo under siege. The population lives in constant fear of snipers and grenades, the city has no electrical power, water, or heating. In these crazy circumstances, can you imagine that a globally renowned rockstar would come and play a gig for the local fans?
Scream for Me Sarajevo is the story about a cold December night in 1994 when Bruce Dickinson, the legendary singer of Iron Maiden, appeared in front of the amazed audience of the Sarajevo Arts Centre. For the next few hours, the war was gone and the people could almost believe again that a normal life was possible. Dickinson shouted “Scream for me, Sarajevo!” into the microphone and together with him they screamed, all of those who put their life on the line that night to be part of this historic concert. The film by Tarik Hodžić is a story about bravery, hope and the unlimited power of art.
“We weren't protected, there was no plan and the bullets were real, but fuck it, we went anyway,” Bruce Dickinson wrote in his autobiography What Does This Button Do? in 2017. “The gig was immense, intense and probably the biggest show in the world at that moment for the audience and for us. That the world didn't really know didn't matter. It changed the way I viewed life, death and other human beings.”
The documentary, in which Dickinson, the organisers and the fans recall the gig won the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival. Dickinson was made an honorary citizen by the city of Sarajevo at the beginning of April this year.
“/…/ fondly made documentary. /…/ The band’s reminiscences are deeply felt as well as comical. But the doc belongs to the Bosnian metalheads at the gig, now in their 30s and 40s.”
- Cath Clarke, The Guardian
“Scream for Me Sarajevo touched on something far beyond the confines of a mere music documentary.”
- Nick Ruskell, Kerrang!