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  • Philip Leung

Sarajevo (2014 film): Learnings

The biographical television film, made by German television channel ZDF and Austria channel ORP, follows the Austrian magistrate Leo Pfeffer, as he investigates the motivation behind the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.


An event in a relatively unimportant city, involving a rather minor country, as well as a nineteen-year-old, changed the world.

You can always find a reason for war. There are warmongers in every government, both in Austria and in Serbia. The Black Hand, a Serbian terrorist group, was not the first and would not be the last terrorist group to influence politics.

What is the value of Archduke Franz Ferdinand's life? Four years of world war and 17 million lives. Did the elite consider the life of the Archduke to be worth that much, or did they believe the lives of everyone else to be worthless?

A lot of questions could be asked. Why was the security so lax? Why was the Archduke's itinerary published in the newspaper? Why did the Archduke's car take a wrong turn and stop?

After a century, the truth is still not entirely clear. The plot behind the assassination is still being discussed today: Is it Bosnian nationalism, Serbian domestic politics, or the Berlin-Baghdad railway?

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