What is Yugoslavian Girl In South Africa About?
Yugoslavian Girl is a film based on the book Yugoslavian Identity and Other Fairytales by Jasmine Lovelstzy. Jasmine, filmmaker, mathematician and theologian, was born in the former Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists. Her parents were born in one country, and today their birth place is in two different countries. That makes Jasmine a hybrid child with multinational background.
This hybrid child grew up feeling free in a place where she felt unity with her neighbors and friends, a place where her family never needed to lock their door as there was no crime and where equality was promoted.
In addition she was also brought up in a family of intellectuals and scientists so religion never played a part in her upbringing. Jasmine, however, always had some kind of spiritual connection that she could never find among her immediate family. Since a young age Jasmine questioned the human existence and her place in the world. When she was fifteen years old, she started writing her diary. These are the first few questions she wrote:
Who am I?
Where Do I Come From?
Why Am I Here?
These questions became even more prominent when Jasmine was at school in South Africa during the time her country started to fall apart.
For the first time in her life she started to feel fragmented when her classmates began asking what nationality she belongs to: is she Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian or something else. So even tho Yugoslavia was a non-aligned country, Jasmine ironicly found herself in a place where she was confronted to take sides.
She felt like a child left behind as Yugoslavia split into different countries, each corresponding to a particular nationality. There was no place for children from mixed marriages. So Yugoslavians became refugees and were dispersed to many countries around the world. Some of them found their new home in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Europe. Jasmine chose to acquire her citizenship in South Africa from the late President Nelson Mandela.