Savior (film)

Savior (film)


caption=Savior movie poster
writer=Robert Orr
starring=Dennis Quaid
Stellan Skarsgård
Nastassja Kinski
Nataša Ninković
Sergej Trifunović
director=Predrag Antonijevic
producer=Oliver Stone
runtime=103 min.
language=English & Serbo-Croatian
budget=USD$ 10,000,000 (est.)
music=David Robbins

"Savior" is a 1998 war film starring Dennis Quaid, Stellan Skarsgård, Nastassja Kinski, and Nataša Ninković. It is about an American mercenary escorting a Serbian woman and her newborn child to a United Nations safe zone during the Bosnian War.


Dennis Quaid is Guy, a former French Foreign Legionnaire who has become a volunteer for a Bosnian Serb Army. Before joining the French Foreign Legion, he was Joshua Rose, a U.S. Marine on embassy duty in Paris. His wife (Nastassja Kinski) and son are killed in a bombing by an Islamic terrorist. In a fit of revenge he storms into a mosque and shoots some of the worshippers. In order to avoid arrest, he and his friend Peter (Stellan Skarsgård) join the Foreign Legion. They soon tire of the boredom of peacekeeping and leave the Legion to become mercenaries.

The film moves forward to 1993 Bosnia. Guy has become a drug-addled and cold-blooded sniper for the Serbian VRS, overlooking a bridge separating the Bosnian Serbs and the Bosniaks in a town. He witnesses Peter's death when Peter drops his guard at a checkpoint and a young girl throws a grenade at him. Guy becomes so hardened and unflinching after Peter's death that he kills anyone crossing the bridge from the other side, including children.

After being relieved and paired up with a Bosnian Serb soldier, Goran (Sergej Trifunović), the two are tasked with clearing the village following a ceasefire. Guy and Goran begin their task by breaking down a gate and then entering a house from different directions. Guy enters through the bedroom and discovers an aged Bosniak woman, who is confined to bed and shell-shocked. Guy finds a sleeping baby, but does not inform Goran, when his companion rejoins. In a brutal scene, Goran hacks a finger off the old woman to get at the ring.

In a surreal moment, walking away from the village, Goran begins asking Guy questions about America, especially regarding "Beverly Hills 90210" and Luke Perry. Following this exchange, a helicopter attacks the village. Guy runs back to save the baby, but finds that it has been killed by falling rubble.

But Guy is given a second chance at redemption. He and Goran prepare for a prisoner exchange with the Bosnian Army forces. Goran brags that he's repeatedly raped their female captive, the daughter of his father's muslim employer. This statement slightly disturbs Guy, who points out that Bosniaks do the same to Bosnian Serb women. Goran denies this and retorts, "our women are stronger." However among the Serbian prisoners exchanged is a pregnant woman, which Goran and some of the other Serbs recognize with shocked expressions.

Goran loads her in the car and they head to her village. En route, Goran admits he knows her family are "good Serbs, great warriors" and his neighbors. Her name is Vera (Nataša Ninković) and she was captured months before, then raped by her Bosnian Army captors and now carries a Bosniak child.

Disgusted by what he feels is Vera's lack of courage in preventing the rape or committing suicide after she became pregnant, Goran orders Guy to stop the car in a tunnel and throws her out of the car. He savagely kicks Vera, who is lying helpless on the road and is starting to go into premature labor. Goran attempts to shoot the soon-to-be-born child, but Guy is so unsettled at the whole scene that he kills Goran. Vera, already suffering and on the verge of delivery, is helped by Guy to deliver her baby. When he shows Vera the child, she attempts to kill herself, but Guy prevents this. Guy takes them both to their home.

At Vera's home, she is rejected by her family for being raped while she was in captivity. Guy, sickened by Vera's rejection, leaves with her and the baby. She refuses to feed the baby, and while Guy is driving to find a source of milk, is so ashamed of the baby that she attempts to kill her, but eventually accepts the child as her own. While trying to find goat's milk, Vera's father and brother track the trio down in an attempt to kill the mother and the child but end up injuring Guy. She protects him and her baby girl and speaks with him in English for the first time.

While being forced out of her home by her family, Guy suggests that they go back to her village where they can be safe. However, when they return, Vera's village has been attacked by the ARBiH, and they see her family and other villagers are being rounded up and led away by the Bosnian Army fighters. Guy pledges to Vera and the newborn girl that he will protect them and they plan on returning to a safer place.

Vera knows of a relatively secure enclave and they make their way to a tram line to get there. Guy and the baby girl hide while Vera checks out the tram, but she is captured in a roundup of civilians by Croatian HVO soldiers. While hiding, the baby starts crying, so Vera sings a lullaby to calm the unseen baby. Guy then sees a Croat fighter beat her and some others to death with a sledgehammer, before the rest of the prisoners are shot. While keeping the baby silent and not giving away their position, Guy has accidentally smothered her. He hurriedly resuscitates the baby girl, but the grief of Vera's death and the miracle of the child's resurrection proves too much - he breaks down and cries.

Guy, with great effort, manages to get the baby to a United Nations safe zone. He abandons Vera's baby in a UN vehicle with a label bearing her name and then disposes of his rifle into the sea, crying and seeking rest from the horrors he has witnessed and committed. A following UN aid worker, who had seen him leaving the child, walks up to him carrying the girl and offers to help them.


Savior currently holds a 71% fresh rating on the review site Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of a possible four, stating that "Savior is a brutally honest war film that looks unblinkingly at how hate and prejudice can pose as patriotism."


The musical arrangements were orchestrated by David Robbins. Choral arrangements were conducted by Gil Robbins and featured the choir of Radio TV Serbia and the Belgrade Symphony Orchestra. The film featured several traditional regional folk songs, such as "Zajdi, zajdi", "Uspavanka" (sang as a lullaby), and "Rasti, rasti, moj zeleni bore" (all used as the theme and in the credits).

External links

* [ Review and background information about the events that inspired the movie.]

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