Winner 1998

Shot Through the Heart

Home Box Office

Based on the dramatic and tragic true-life story of two men living in Bosnia at the start of that country’s civil war, Shot Through the Heart is a television film that reveals the effects of war on friendship and family. Vlado Sarzinsky and Slavko Simic were best friends and teammates on the Yugoslav National Rifle Team. Vlado, a Croat married to a Muslim, and Slavko, of Serbian descent, were swept into the conflict in Sarajevo. As the film develops with dramatic effectiveness, Vlado’s family fled their home, while Slavko abandoned his to become an officer in the Serbian Army. Vlado hesitantly joined a volunteer army, and his task was to defend his people—innocent civilians under attack by Serbian sniper fire. When he carefully studied the site where repeated sniper attacks had taken place, Vlado made the painful discovery that the sniper’s bullets bore the unmistakable signature of his friend Slavko. As this stirring film for television dramatizes, the two were destined to meet again, with tragic consequences. Shot Through the Heart, based on freelance journalist John Falk’s interviews with the real Vlado, was brought to the screen through the skillful direction of David Attwood and the sharp insight of executive producers Francine LeFrak and Robert Latnos. The scarred city of Sarajevo itself was the backdrop for this moving film, revealing a city still struggling to recover from the ravages of its civil war. In bringing this important human drama to its growing television audience, Home Box Office continues to prove its commitment to quality programming and is cited for recognition with the Peabody Award.