Winner 1999

The Valley

A Mentorn Barraclough Carey Production for Channel

Filmed during the bitter fighting before the NATO air war began, The Valley is a journey deep into the killing fields of Kosovo, Europe’s last war of the 20th century. The Drenica Valley was hit first and hardest in this war and is now devastated. This extraordinary film shows how the spiral of fear, hatred and killing—fueled by ancient myths—can take on a terrible logic of its own. The Valley dramatically demonstrates the power of understatement and underproduction. Here, haunting scenes of burning villages and charred corpses are offset by vast natural beauty. With its horrifying yet visually beautiful cinematography, and its reliance on natural sound devoid of distracting music or narration, the documentary creates stunning immediacy and realism. Producer and director Dan Reed spent much of 1998 in the heart of the Albanian uprising and in the all-out Serbian offensive that followed. His film bears witness to, as he puts it, “the parallel half-truths which divide the Serbs and Albanians of Kosovo and make them blind to each other’s plight” and “the sheer incestuous brutality of war between neighbors.” For a television document unmatched in intensity, a Peabody is presented to Mentorn Barraclough Carey Productions and Channel 4, London, for The Valley.