Directed by: Vinko Laotovic

Written by: Vinko Laotovic; Wei Tai

Cast: Mark Mammone; Ved Redic; Steven Vulin

On 25 June 1991, Slovenia and Croatia became the first republic to declare independence from Yugoslavia, resulting in a civil war that lasted for more than 4 years. Tomislav, a Croatian chef, is captured and forced to cook for the Serbian Army. The chef finds solace in his diary, even as he watches the destruction of his people. But can he survive his imprisonment when a case of food poisoning causes the Serbian Army to suspect him of tempering with their food? This film is based on real diary and tells the tragic incident in this history.

Review:

The film Tomislav’s Diary, inspired by true events, tells the narrative of two men, Tomislav and Goran, and the friendship that rises between the two amidst escalating ethnic tensions between their native countries of Serbia/Yugoslavia and Croatia during the 1990s. Taking place along territory occupied by Yugioslavia (however, formerly Croatian), Tomislav’s Diary opens with a few concise texts of historical background informing the viewers of the impact of the death of Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito in 1980, and how this henceforth impacted Yugoslavia’s political relationships with its neighboring countries, one such being Croatia. In the film, our titular character Tomislav, a Croatian, is first introduced as his capture by Yugoslav armed forces, and forced to stay with the Yugoslav military cooks, Goran and Stevo, Serbians supporting the Yugoslav war efforts. Viewers are met with immediate tensions between Tomislav and Goran, each, at first, allowing for their ethnic devotions to dictate their impressions of the other, however as the film progresses, as do Tomislav and Goran’s tolerance for one another and their perspectives, the true antagonist being the crude nature of war, invasion, and the struggle for power.