The Sarajevo Derby: The Documentary

The Football Collective

By Dr Joel Rookwood

My latest documentary is based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on one of the most atmospheric football derbies in Europe, contested in one of the most absorbing cities on the continent. The Sarajevo Derby is a film at least as much about the city, its history of conflict, and my journey to it, as it is the football rivalry it professes to centre on. It barely even shows a ball being kicked. This is a football film that is not really about football.


After visiting every country in Europe I produced a subjective list of the continent’s greatest cities – positioning Sarajevo in seventh place. Bosnia and Herzegovina is also currently ranked seventh in another more objective list – that of the least visited countries in Europe (‘beaten’ to first place by micro states such as San Marino and Liechtenstein). Bosnia’s tourism industry is developing, but at…

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