Reviewed by: Trinity

Bashkim Berisha is a promising young kickboxer, living with his family in Switzerland. He fled from his homeland of Kosovo with his mother and brothers to join his father. At the start of the film, we follow him as he trains and in true Rocky style see him running up a hill. But suddenly he is falling and his world comes rushing up to meet him. He is arrested after assaulting a policeman and is sentenced to jail and exile.

What has caused this violence to boil over?

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Bashkim is a strangely disjointed documentary, which tries to do two things: follow the life of Bashkim as he trains for fights and attempt to gain a sense of how the war in Kosovo has affected its people. Unfortunately, what we get is a good film spliced to a bad one.

Bashkim may be an angry young teenager, but that doesn't make him an interesting subject. Of far more worth are his parents, especially his father. Their support for him shows true parental understanding and their tales of relatives and friends, now lost, are both moving and matter-of-fact.

Some amusement is to be had from the stories of Bashkim and his four brothers. His aptitude for Thai boxing might come from the times when relatives would pay money to see him and his siblings hit each other.

Ultimately, we spend too little time exploring the family's flight from Kosovo and yet only poke at the surface of the cause of Bashkim's rage and frustration.

With better editing, this could have been a powerful documentary.

Reviewed on: 04 Aug 2002
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A young Kosovan kick boxer and his family try to explain his rage and frustration.

Director: Vadim Jendreyko

Starring: Bashkim Berisha, Riza Berisha, Djka Berisha

Year: 2001

Runtime: 85 minutes

Country: Switzerland


EIFF 2002

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