Bruce Dickinson and Anvil director team up for Sarajevo movie
Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson has revealed that he’s been working on a screenplay based on his 1994 solo gig in Sarajevo, when the Bosnian capital was still under siege from the Bosnian Serb Army.
The story has already been told once in 2016 documentary Scream For Me, Sarajevo!, where Bruce, his band, organisers, fans and soldiers revealed how, with the help of the UN and the British Army, he and his band snuck into the city to play the show, and what life was like for ordinary people in Sarajevo where going out into the street carried the risk of being killed by sniper fire.
Now, Bruce has teamed up with Sacha Gervasi – maker of Anvil: The Story Of Anvil! – to work on a screenplay of the story.
Now, as with the documentary, Bruce stresses that the film is about the people there, and his show is simply context. He was there for less than a week. The people who went to see him would continue living in a warzone in which power and water were frequently cut off, until the war ended in 1996. So brutal was the violence that 14,000 people – many of them civilians – lost their lives, and in the aftermath, high-ranking Serbian army officers were convicted of crimes against humanity.
“The few incredible days I spent in Sarajevo with my solo band pre-Christmas in 1994 were some of the most intense of my life,” explains Bruce. “Crafting a story to bring the emotions, madness, tragedy and triumph to the screen is no easy task. My own journey was as a long-haired heavy metal singer driving through firefights into a city that had been under siege longer than Stalingrad. Mine was not, of course, the only journey taken on that day, and afterwards, at home in London, I left behind in Sarajevo travelling companions on the road of life. This movie is actually dedicated to their story, not mine.”
“I first met Bruce Dickinson as a 15-year-old Maiden fan in London in 1982,” says Sacha Gervasi. “Now, nearly 40 years later, to be co-writing this extraordinarily intense and personal story with Bruce himself is a genuine and unexpected honour. The real story of the kids and local musicians who attended that show is as poignant as it is inspiring. Many of them didn’t make it. As Bruce has already said, we hope this film will be a tribute to them.”
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