Abdulah Sidran

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Abdulah Sidran
Born (1944-10-02) 2 October 1944 (age 71)
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Occupation Writer

Abdulah Sidran (born 2 October 1944), often referred to by his nickname Avdo, is a Bosnian writer and poet who is renowned for his screenplays and dramas.[1][2] He is best known for writing the Oscar-nominated When Father Was Away on Business and Do You Remember Dolly Bell?.[3]

Early life and family[edit]

Abdulah Sidran, the second of four children, was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 2 October 1944, although several sources inaccurately give his date of birth as 29 September 1944. His parents were Muslims and ethnic Bosniaks; father Mehmed (1915–1965) was born in Kiseljak and worked as a locksmith at a railway workshop, while his mother Behija (née Jukić) was a housewife.[4][5][6] Sidran has three siblings Ekrem (born 1942; deceased), Nedim (born 4 February 1947) and Edina (born 1953).[7] He was named after his paternal uncle, a typographer and compositor, who perished in 1943 at the Jasenovac concentration camp. The Sidran family roots trace back to the hamlet Biograd near Nevesinje. Abdulah's paternal grandfather Hasan Sidran relocated to Sarajevo from Biograd in 1903.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Sidran graduated from University of Sarajevo. Sidran spent the entirety of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo.[9] After spending most of his life in Sarajevo, Sidran lived in Goražde before moving to a small village near Tešanj where he currently lives.[10]

Sidran made regional headlines in January 2015 when he claimed that his former friend and director Emir Kusturica in fact died defending Sarajevo during the war in 1994 and was replaced by a Serb doppelganger named Pantelija Milisavljević.[11][12][13] Kusturica is an ethnic Bosniak who began self-identifying as a Serb during the war of the 1990s. In response to the claims, Kusturica called Sidran a "soulful bum".[14]


His major works include Šahbaza, Bone and meat, The Sarajevo tomb (Sarajevski tabut),[15] Why is Venice sinking (Zašto tone Venecija),[16] several books of poetry, and screenplays for award-winning movies from the Former Yugoslavia, such as the Oscar-nominated When Father Was Away on Business and Do You Remember Dolly Bell?, directed by Emir Kusturica;[17] and Kuduz and The Perfect Circle, directed by Ademir Kenović.[18] His opus is characterized by a soft and soothing sensibility, where tragedy, meditativity and a specific and humorous irony change sides and play tricks on each other more often than not.


  1. ^ Teeuwen, Mariken (2002). Harmony and the music of the spheres: the ars musica in ninth-century commentaries on Martianus Capella. Brill. p. 28. ISBN 978-90-04-12525-4. 
  2. ^ Gocić, Goran (2001). Notes from the underground: the cinema of Emir Kusturica. Wallflower Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-903364-14-7. 
  3. ^ "Sve sam znao kad sam bio mlad". Blic. 10 August 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Godina u kojoj je zapečaćena sudbina braće Sidran". Lupiga. 15 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Pokatkad mi se činilo da Kusturica nije ni pročitao to što sam mu nudio". Sutra. 4 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  6. ^ "Potraga za istinom o ocu u autobiografskom vodiču kroz vlastitu umjetnost". Jutarnji. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "U njegovoj duši nikad nije prestao posmrtni plač". Lupiga. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Kako su nastala sjećanja na Doli Bel". Nezavisne. 2 December 2006. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "Zanima me podrijetlo. Ne moj pradjed ili šukundjed, nego podrijetlo moje patnje". Jutarnji. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Video on YouTube
  11. ^ "Abdulah Sidran tvrdi: Emir Kusturica poginuo '94. braneći Sarajevo". Radio Sarajevo. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "Kusturica poginuo braneći Sarajevo, DB postavio dvojnika Panteliju". Alo!. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ovo je lažni Kusturica, pravi je poginuo! KUSTA: Sidran je beskućnik koji se pretvorio u bojler". Telegraf. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "Kusturica Sidranu: Pismo duhovnom beskućniku". RTV BN. 9 January 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  15. ^ Segel, Harold B. (2008). The Columbia literary history of Eastern Europe since 1945. Columbia University Press. p. 268. ISBN 978-0-231-13306-7. 
  16. ^ Agee, Chris (1998). Scar on the stone: contemporary poetry from Bosnia. Bloodaxe Books. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-85224-415-6. 
  17. ^ Goulding, Daniel J. (1989). Post new wave cinema in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. Indiana University Press. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-253-34559-2. 
  18. ^ Chansel, Dominique (2001). Europe on-screen: cinema and the teaching of history. Council of Europe. p. 69. ISBN 978-92-871-4531-4. 

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