Welcome To Sarajevo is set in that besieged city in the former Yugoslavia in 1992 as Serbian forces are shelling it from afar and shooting civilians in the streets from sniper posts. British journalist Michael Henderson (Stephen Dillane) and his cameraman (James Nesbitt), producer (Kerry Fox), and local driver Risto (Goran Visnjic) are desperately trying to find a fresh hook for their coverage of this harrowing war. When Henderson discovers an orphanage run by a courageous woman (Gordana Gadzic) near the front lines, he decides to do a continuing story on "big guns, little children, evil men." But he is unprepared when his heart compels him to get involved in the illegal rescue of Emira (Emira Nusevic), a nine-year-old orphan. In the midst of devastating chaos, one man decides that his act of compassion can make all the difference in the life of a shell-shocked, terrified, and lonely little girl.
Michael Winterbottom (Jude) directs this ethically powerful film that explodes with outrage over the Serbian desolation of a city and the carnage of its innocent residents. It is also a film that softens the heart in the face of such terrible suffering. Gandhi, who understood this effect of involvement, said: "I believe in the essential unity of all people and for that matter of all lives. Therefore I believe that if one gains spiritually, the whole world gains, and if one person falls the whole world falls to that extent."
Welcome To Sarajevo lifts up compassion as the quivering of the heart in the presence of true pain. It was one of the best films of 1997.