1. Emily Dickinson, "Tell all the Truth but tell it slant—" in The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Thomas H. Johnson, ed. (Cambridge, MA and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1979), p. 792. First spied by author in 2007 on the New York City subway as part of “Poetry in Motion.” See
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2. Susan Sontag, “‘There’ and ‘Here’” in Where the Stress Falls (New York: Picador, 2002), p. 324.

3. Jasmila Zbanic, Grbavica: Land of My Dreams (2005, Austria/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Germany/Croatia, in Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles, 90 min). Released on DVD in the United States by Strand Releasing in 2007. In an interview provided with the film’s press kit, Zbanic states, “Etymologically, the word Grbavica means woman with a hump.” See Deblokada Productions

4. This and following quotes unless otherwise indicated are from the film, Grbavica: Land of My Dreams.

5. Chetnik is used in Grbavica to refer to the Serbian invaders.

6. Christine A. Maier, Director of Photography.

7. Susan Sontag, “Why Are We in Kosovo?” in The New York Times Magazine (May 2, 1999). She continues,

“I remember in Sarajevo in the summer of 1993 a Bosnian friend telling me ruefully that in 1991, when she saw on her TV set the footage of Vukovar utterly leveled by the Serbs, she thought to herself, How terrible, but that's in Croatia, that can never happen here in Bosnia ... and switched the channel. The following year, when the war started in Bosnia, she learned differently. Then she became part of a story on television that other people saw and said, How terrible ... and switched the channel.”

See http://www.nbi.dk/~predrag/projects/SontagKosovo.html

8. Shaheed, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a Muslim martyr. “The Muslim who falls on the battlefield is called Shahid..‘witness, martyr’.”

9. Posters of Jennifer Lopez, Keira Knightley and others accompany the Aguilera.[return to page 2]

10. Indeed as revealed by the director’s interview in the press kit, Zbanic identifies the songs at the Women’s Center as llahijas, “songs dedicated to God.”

11. Take the director herself as a case in point: Zbanic states in the interview,

“Twenty-thousand women were systematically raped in Bosnia during the war. I lived 100 meters from the front line and was most afraid of this kind of aggression. Since then, rape and its consequences have become an obsession for me: I read and followed everything that was related to this topic. I still didn’t know why I did this, or what I wanted to do with this. When I gave birth to my child, motherhood triggered a whole set of emotions in me — it shocked me completely. I started asking myself, what kind of emotional significance does this have for a woman who has a child who was conceived in hate. That was the moment I knew what I wanted from Grbavica and I wrote it — between breast feeds.”

12. Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others (New York: Picador, 2003), p. 8.

13. According to her obituary in the New York Times, Sontag died on December 27, 2004. See

14. Alain Resnais, Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959, France and Japan).

15. Ibid.

16. Marguerite Duras, Hiroshima Mon Amour, text by Marguerite Duras for the film by Alain Resnais, trans. Richard Seaver (New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1961), p. 94.

17. Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa,” trans. Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen,  in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 1, No. 4. (The University of Chicago Press, 1976), p. 881. See

18. Edward Saïd, “Reflections on Exile” in Reflections on Exile and Other Essays (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002), pp. 181-182.


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