Shot Through The Heart
Based on an article published in Details, HBO's Shot Through The Heart is about two best friends and Olympic-caliber marksmenone a Serb, the other a Croat married to a Muslimwho are forced to take opposite sides when civil war divides Sarajevo in 1992. True story or not, the fact that they will inevitably view each other through crosshairs is a disturbing selling point. But, unlike 1997's The Peacemaker, the film successfully treads the thin line between real human tragedy and tasteless action-adventure. Opening, as all serious political works do, with a song by the Cranberries, Shot Through The Heart begins just as Radovan Karadzic's army is settling in the hills outside Sarajevo. The Serbian rifleman, Vincent Pérez (Queen Margot), is recruited to train snipers, while the Croat, Linus Roache (The Wings Of The Dove), elects to stay in the city. A pacifist who still considers himself a Yugoslav above all, Roache joins a small militia when his building is shelled in a night bombing raid. This sets up their tactical showdown, but to his credit, director David Attwood shows more interest in documenting the horrific fissures of civil war than in cranking up the suspense of a gunfight. Shot Through The Heart isn't especially ambitious, nor does it have a particularly striking perspective on the conflict, but its lucid, documentary-like glimpse of war-torn Sarajevo is sobering and valuable.