CINEMA-TV >Berlin film fest’s best actor winner back to scrap dealing in Bosnia

POLYICE – Anatolia News Agency

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“I may live in difficult conditions but I will never sell the bear” says Mujic. AA photo

“I may live in difficult conditions but I will never sell the bear” says Mujic. AA photo

After winning the Best Actor Golden Bear at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival Nazif Mujic is back in Bosnia working the job that inspired the film he starred in, Bosnian director Danis Tanovic’s documentary film “Epizoda u Zivotu Beraca Zeljeza” (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker).

Unexpectedly winning the prized award and helping Tanovic expose the lives of scrap metal collectors did little to change Mujic’s life. Following his appearance in the film and the fairytale Berlin, he has returned to collecting scrap metal in the streets to provide for his wife and three children.

“As the applause ceased and the lights went down I have returned to my sad life. I slept as someone famous and woke up as a scrap dealer,” Mujic said, adding that some people advised him to sell his prize, which is made of silver. “I may live in difficult conditions but I will never sell the bear.” 

While the golden bear failed to turn into a gold mine for Mujic or his wife Senada, who also appears in the documentary, Mujic said he has still not been able to overcome his astonishment at winning. 

“I was going to pass out during the award ceremony. I am not an actor, that’s why I was so surprised that they gave me such an award. I was struggling to not faint the entire interval that I walked on trembling legs to the stage,” Mujic said during a Feb. 26 interview with Anatolia news agency.

The 43-year-old also stressed the documentary was an honest narration of his life story as someone who scours the streets for scrap metal and a member of the Roman community, which faces much discrimination in Eastern Europe. He claims he hasn’t met anyone who didn’t cry after watching “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker.”

Tanovic, who won the Oscar for best foreign language movie in 2001 with “No man’s land,” took home two awards at this year’s Berlin Film Festival with a documentary that had a total budget of only 30,000 euros.

To show how grateful he was for Tanovic’s decision to tackle the topic of street collectors Mujic paid tribute to the director with his newborn son. “I have given his name to my son, born six months ago as I had promised him. I hope he will be a famous director [like Tanovic],” he said.

Although Mujic currently has no future plans in terms of acting, he said he wouldn’t turn down an offer to star in a Turkish movie. “We see Turkey as our brother country. It would be an honor to play in a movie produced in Turkey.”


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