Andrićgrad (“the city of Ivo Andrić”) is the name given to a place built by Emir Kusturica in Višegrad, nearby the place where is situated the “bridge over the Drina”, written by Ivo Andrić. The place is also called “Kamengrad” (the stone city).
Work began in june 2011 and are likely to be finished in 2014.
Višegrad is a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Republika Srpska, near Küstendorf.
Here under, you can see a satellite map centered on the site :
(source : balkaninsight.com)
Several times, The bridge over the Drina, the masterpiece of Ivo Andrić has been worked in the imagination of Emir Kusturica. Thus, in 1985 already, after his first victory in Cannes for When father was away on business, then again after Arizona Dream, he wished to tell the story of his country through this cult book.
The adaptation work was made during an long time, because Emir Kusturica has talked about it at several occasions to journalists with much enthousiasm.
”It will be the biggest yugoslav film ever made” was he saying in 1993.
Unfortunately, he had to renounce. The story happened to be too complex to adapt. Too many characters, story too widely spread in time, and most of all : no producer accepting such a big project in Serbian language…
But in February 2009, Emir Kusturica held a press conference in Küstendorf with Serbian minister of Culture Nebojsa Bradic, to announce his intention to realize an adaptation as a “film-opéra” of the monument of Yugoslav literature : “A bridge on the Drina” (Na Drini cuprija), by Literature Nobel Prize Ivo Andrić. We remember that Emir wants to make the adaptation of this classic since a long time. For this project, he wants to use a mix technique with real shootings in Višegrad (Bosnia, a few kilometers from Küstendorf) and live show. But first things first, the libretto and the music have to be written by a whole team, including Emir Kusturica, Nele Karajlic and the No Smoking Orchestra. International coproduction, the projet wishes also the collaboration of Turkey, due to the cultural legacy of Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. Emir Kusturica hopes this project can be achieved in 2011 for the 50th jubilee Ivo Andrić's Nobel Prize attribution. About this project, the minister declares ”this novel encloses our present, past and, I am afraid, future. That is our Old Testament. I know that Ivo Andric opposed ideas of putting his works into other genres due to some bad experiences, but he was not quite exclusive. With good preparation we can overcome potential obstacles”
He confirmed this information in March 2009 in an interview.
In november 2009, after having performed in Banja Luka with the No Smoking Orchestra, Emir Kusturica met the Republika Srpska authorities ; they then declared they would help financing this project, in order to make from the area Višegrad-Küstendorf a major touristic attraction. Source : rtv.rs
In january 2011, this project is once again evoked : the idea is to build a stone city nearby the Višegrad bridge, in order to shoot the film. Construction is due to begin in summer 2011 and will last for about three years before the filming starts. Source : ruvr.ru
On February 28th, 2011, Emir presented the project on sight, in Visegard, to the authorities of Republika Srpska : ”We shall build a city which will be the same as if it was built 400 years ago. (…) In the streets of this town, in the places, on the walls, the roofs and the pavements, we shall read the history that flew away like salted water on the sun letting behind shiny crystals.”. It was also said that the “Andric City” will be built next to the famous ottoman bridge of the XVIe, on 14.000 m2. It will be composed of fifty houses, will have a church, a townhall, hotels, a theatre, shops, cafés, a market and a port. Construction works should begin in June. This reconstitution shall then turn into a touristical attraction. Source : AFP
On 28 June 2011, Kamengrad is on its way ! The work for the construction of the “stone city”, on the shores of the Visegrad bridge (The bridge on the Drina), is starting. We can see on these pictures the first 3D pictures allowing to have an idea of what will look like the project. Some other views can be seen on the website : visegradturizam.com.
According to the last news, Emir would now be likely to make a TV serie when the work will be finished (in 3-4 years). He declared : ”This city should be a symbol of pacifism. If its men have suffered and lost their lives because of their ethnicity or religious beliefs, this city should pacify all these conflicts through its cultural function. This city is the heart that has to beat a great idea to encourage eastern Bosnia as a symbol of peace. May it live in terms of culture and development of multiethnic life.” (source : glassrbije.org)
In june 2013, constructions go on with a replica of the monastery of Stefan Uroš III Dečanski (located in Kosovo, 12 km from Peć), saint of the orthodox church and king of Serbia from 1321 to 1331. Built in 60 days instead of 8 years for the original, it will be probably dedicated to Prince Lazar (other Serbian king and venerated as martyr by the orthodox church).