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A Wonderful Night in Split No One's Son


Halima's Path

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After the end of the war in Bosnia, Halima, a good-natured peasant woman from a remote Muslim village in Western Bosnia, searches for the remains of her husband and her teenage son, who were taken by Serbian paramilitary forces and executed. Using DNA analysis, the UN Committee for Missing Persons manages to identify the remains of her husband in one of the mass graves, but the Committee still can't identify the remains of her son, since Halima refuses to give a blood sample for DNA testing. There is something that the Committee doesn't know, something that Halima is hiding from others: her beloved son wasn’t actually her biological son.

The story takes us back two decades ago, during the period of Yugoslavia, where we learn how Halima and her husband became adoptive parents, after fruitless efforts to have a child on their own. Along with that story, we follow Halima's path nowadays while she is searching for the biological mother of her son, the only person who can give a blood sample, to help identify the remains of her adopted son. We learn that the biological mother of Halima's son is her own niece, her brother's daughter, who had an affair with a Serbian boyfriend from a nearby village. Since Halima's brother strongly disapproved of his teenage daughter's relationship with a Christian boy, his daughter has secretly given the unwanted child to her aunt Halima, hiding this from the others, and more importantly, from her own Serbian boyfriend who thought that the baby had died.

As Halima searches for her estranged niece, who now lives in the Serbian controlled part of the Bosnia with her husband and three daughters and doesn't want to have any links to her previous life, Halima discovers a horrifying fact from her worst nightmares which stops her from searching further. Still, with this discovery, the spiral of tragic events from the past would continue in the present, disrupting once again the troubled lives of the characters.

Once the remains have been identified and buried with dignity, the characters manage to overcome their differences from the past and come together, ending Halima’s path with redemption and understanding.
Arsen Anton Ostojic © 2004-2014