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Homosexualität auf dem Balkan - Interview mit Dana Budisavljević

danaIm Rahmen der Sektion begehrt! veranstaltet das IFFF am 17.04.2010 die Paneldiskussion „Balkan Queer Pride“. Marija Savić, Yana Buhrer Tavanier und Dana Budisavljević informieren über Queer Festivals und Queer Filmmaking auf dem Balkan. Die Regisseurin Dana Budisavljević kommt aus Zagreb, der kroatischen Hauptstadt. Sie ist Autorin preisgekrönter Dokumentarfilme, Mitbegründerin von „Hulahop Film and Art Production” und sie hat sich öffentlich zu ihrer Homosexualität bekannt. Im Festivalblog spricht sie über fehlende lesbische Vorbilder und ihr neues Filmprojekt.

Tina Reymann: At the International Women’s Film Festival you will talk about queer festivals and queer filmmaking in the Balkan region. What are your aims and what is your intention by making films about being gay?
Dana Budisavljević: I happen to be gay. To be precise, a lesbian. And my intention was to share some of my experiences. And since most of the lesbian characters in the film either die or get married to a man in the end, I wanted to tell a different story.

What are the reasons for homophobia and intolerance?
I think it’s fear. Biological fear of different species. I think it’s the same why we don’t tolerate people of different skin, religion, background… Each of these intolerances is different, but it comes from the same part of our minds. The main argument is that LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Anm. d. Red.) people are not normal, it’s not natural behavior and that God didn’t create them that way so the „normal“ ones should cure them. But LGBT people go to work, pay taxes, speak the same language and are sons and daughters of the „normal“. So the situation gets complicated. Balkan region is heading to Europe which defined itself open to different sexual orientations and that’s one of the biggest arguments in our fight for equal rights.

What about the law, are there special rules and laws which protect LGBT?
In Croatia there are few laws that include precise articles against discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation. But we still didn’t manage to enter the laws on family, marriage, child adoption – these are still very hot topics.

Does the internet help people to come out and to get to know their rights and to defend their rights?
Internet plays a huge role in connecting LGBT people and helps them feeling less alone especially if they live in smaller cities. But internet can not help you to accept yourself, to tell your friends, parents and colleagues at work. It can also be a trap if you start living in your virtual world and close yourself from the reality.

How important is the media? Are there shows, series or movies about LGBT on Croatian TV?
No, Croatian channels, neither public nor private networks do broadcast these series. In 2002, when we produced the first gay rights „commercial“ it was banned on Croatian television. But from then on, there were several campaigns with billboards and media coverage has changed a lot. Actually it’s amazing how much it changed. If Croatia did such progress in industry or agriculture we would be a very rich country. It’s not cool any more to be against gays. At the inauguration ceremony of our new president a few months ago, he mentioned that Croatia needs to be safe for people of different sexual orientation. I was so proud. It would have been impossible to hear that from a leading politician 5 years ago.

You regret the absence of lesbian role models. Are there actually Croatian role models or are there just „imported“ role models like Ellen DeGeneres, Cynthia Nixon, Leisha Hailey… ?
That was a huge problem of mine. My hero was Martina Navratilova. Ellen and K.D. Lang came much later. There were few people in Croatia that admitted their homosexuality, but they are mostly activists and few artist. But it can still be considered low profile. We don’t have any politician or „media star“ to talk openly about it. We always wanted to get the mayor of Berlin to come and support our gay pride.

How come that there aren’t more prominent role models?
It’s too much to risk, so no one dares to try what would happen.

Why does everyone need a role model?
It’s very basic. If you don’t see any lesbian being successful and accepted you learn that it’s just not possible.

In 2007 Marija Šerifović won the Eurovision Song Contest for Serbia. She seems to be lesbian, although she didn’t say it. Has anything changed for LGBT since her winning?
She never said she was lesbian, so this couldn’t affect LGBT in Serbia community in a positive way.

Back to you as a film-maker. What’s your new project called “Family meals” about?
My film is about acceptance. My mother, father, brother and I try to go the deepest we can in examination of what is acceptance made of. It’s not only about them accepting me as a lesbian but also me accepting them with their differences.

Isn’t it a hard struggle for you to tell such a personal story?
I didn’t have a choice. It bothered me for so many years. And I have to put an end to it. Once I tell it through film, which means I will tell this to everyone, there will be no more fear and deciding whether I should tell the secret or not. It’s very hard but I hope it will be rewarding. I’m looking forward getting this burden off of my back. And to be free.

Dana Budisavljević wird am Samstag im Filmforum um 15 Uhr an der Paneldiskussion „Balkan Queer Pride“ teilnehmen, die mit dem Dokumentarfilm „Queer Sarajevo Festival“ eingeleitet wird.

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Der Beitrag wurde am Freitag, den 16. April 2010 um 21:52 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter Interviews abgelegt. du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS 2.0 Feed verfolgen.

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