Dragan is a father whose wife and child are out of
the country, in Italy, as he lives with his sister in Sarajevo. He worked at a
bakery for forty years, so he can bring bread back to his sister and her
husband during the war. He waits at an intersection to cross and get bread,
alongside others. But while watching a couple on the move – they are shot at
but nobody gets hit.
At the intersection where he is, he runs into an old
friend of his wife, Emina and they update each other about their lives.
Eventually, the snipers shoot at Emina while she tries to cross, and
fortunately she is only hurt but not killed. A young man brings her back to
Dragan, and she’s taken for medical care. However, many others were shot at and
killed trying to cross the intersection.
Though Dragan thinks about going through the tunnel
underneath the airport to cross over to freedom and travel to Italy. He
concludes that he doesn’t want to be Italian, and that he wishes to stay in
Eventually, Dragan encounters a cameraman on the
other side of the street. He doesn’t want the cameraman to film the hatless man
lying dead, as he doesn’t want others to think of his home poorly. As he tries
to retrieve the body, he is shot at. Fortunately, he is not hit, and covers the
dead man with a coat and his hat, crossing the bridge without hesitation.
A sniper by the name of Arrow targets soldiers on
the hills out of rage, throwing aside her uncomfortableness. She uses the alias
to bypass the guilt of killing. Later, Nermin, Arrow’s commander, gives a
special assignment for Arrow: protecting a cellist who is to play an Adagio for
22 days to mourn the victims of a recent attack.
When the Cellist plays, Arrow watches and sets up a
decoy apartment for the sniper to shoot at first, hoping to get the sniper to
reveal his position before he targets the cellist. After waiting for the sniper
to make a move, she finds that the sniper won’t shoot the Cellist.
Arrow reports back to Nermin, who warns her that
the Sarajevo militia will soon take advantage of Arrow and her abilities. The
next day, Arrow goes back to her hiding place and waits for the sniper to show
himself again. The sniper reveals himself soon after the Cellist comes. As
Arrow plans to shoot him, she stops when she sees that the sniper is listening
to the Cellist’s music. As soon as the Cellist stops playing, Arrow kills the
Nermin soon explains his intent to leave the army,
and advises Arrow to flee as well. As soon as Arrow leaves, Nermin’s office
building explodes. In her own apartment that night, soldiers appear and force
Arrow to Colonel Karaman. The colonel assigns Arrow to a new mission. A spotter
commands Arrow to shoot a civilian walking through enemy controlled territory.
Arrow wrestles with her emotions, but decides not to shoot. She runs from the
Parliament Building, knowing this makes her a defector.
That night, Arrow waits for the soldiers to come to
kill her. She has protected the Cellist throughout his 22 day memorial. She
reclaims her old name – Alisa – and accepts death rather than continuing to
Kenan, a middle-aged Sarajevan father, wakes up and
gets ready for the dangerous trip to get his family water at a brewery. He
doesn’t wish to go into the streets, but he knows he must so he can provide for
his family. He also has promised his elderly neighbor, that he would help her
survive as well.
Kenan attempts to pretend that he is going for a
normal walk, as he did in his old life. He meets a friend Ismet, who became a
soldier for the Sarajevo militia. Kenan is ashamed that he been able to avoid
being conscripted, but he doesn’t want anything to do with killing and death.
He decides to walk down to the Princip Bridge instead of attempting the
Cumurija Bridge that is dangerous. The Princip Bridge is currently being
targeted by snipers, but Kenan has to cross it.
On his way to the lower bridge, Kenan passes the
burned National Library and mourns the loss of culture and civilization in the
city. He reaches the bridge and runs across erratically, hoping to confuse any
potential sniper. At the other side, Kenan drops his neighbours bottles, making
him think again how much he resents having to help this woman who has always been
mean to him and his family.
When Kenan gets to the front of the brewery, it is
hit with a mortar. Kenan, shocked by all the suffering around him, cannot move
to help the injured. All he is able to do is finish filling up his bottles and
head home. With the lower bridges being shelled, Kenan must go across the
dangerous Cumurija Bridge. Kenan leaves Mrs. Ristovski’s bottles behind as they
are too heavy.
Kenan sees Ismet once again when he comes back to
town. Kenan sees a well-fed man with a Mercedes accepting a shipment of water
to sell on the black market. Kenan is upset that some people take advantage of
the struggling Sarajevans, and goes to confront the man. The Cellist’s music
distracts him, and helps him recount the old Sarajevo. He promised himself that
he won’t allow the war make him angry. Kenan decides to retrieve Mrs.
Ristovski’s water bottles.
Days after Kenan got Mrs. Ristovski’s water, he
goes to the brewery again. Kenan is far more hopeful after listening to the