It was all just a good dream
the Frenchman from Vukowar

Original title: Sve je bio dobar san - Le « Frenchie » de Vukowar
English title: It was all just a good dream, the Frenchman from Vukowar

French title: Tout était un beau rêve, le « Frenchie » de Vukowar

Documentary, duration 80 min.
Original format: HD, color
Audio: STEREO 2.0, French and Croatian
Subtitles: English and French
Aspect ratio: 16:9 anamorphic
Screening format: DCP, HDCAM, Digital Beta

Director: Branko Istvancic
Screenwriters: Branko Istvancic and Silvio Mirosnicenko
Camera: Robert Krivec, Darko Krakar, Joakim Erdelji, Tomo Sabljić
Editing: Silvije Magdic and Branko Istvancic
Sound: Pere Istvancic
Music composer: Dalibor Grubacevic
Production: Udruga hrvatskih branitelja dragovoljaca Domovinskog rata, Udruga Dr. Ante Starcevic Tovarnik, Udruga Artizana

The film examines the events from the beginning of the Croatian War of Independence, the arrival of the young French volunteer Jean-Michel Nicolier, his fight, and subsequent death. While searching for her son's remains, Jean-Michel's mother remembers his youth, trying to fathom what made him leave his home and fight a war that wasn't his.

English synopsis: Shocking, intimate and moving documentary examines the events from the time of the war in Croatia and the arrival of the young French volunteer Jean-Michel Nicolier in Croatia. We follow his fighting in the hearth of the tragic battle of Vukovar and the agony and torture that he suffered at Ovcara. His story is presented through the eyes of his mother Lyliane Fournier. We see her searching for any piece of information which could help to find the mortal remains of her son.

French Résumé: Le documentaire “Tout était un beau rêve” observe les événements du début de la guerre d'Indépendance en Croatie, l'arrivée du jeune Français Jean-Michel Nicolier en Croatie, son combat, le tragique de la défense de la ville de Vukovar ainsi que sa mort martyr à Ovčara. Son histoire est présentée à travers les yeux de sa mère Lyliane Fournier. Dans le film on suit sa recherche d'informations à fin de trouver la dépouille mortelle de son fils.

Italian synopsis: La tragica e ancora misteriosa storia del giovane francese Jean-Michel Nicolier, volontario in Croazia ai tempi della guerra d’indipendenza, vista venticinque anni dopo dagli occhi di sua madre, Lyliane Fournier. Uno spaccato di storia recente ripercorso per eventi; il dramma privato che, attraverso il ricordo e la ricerca inesausta, si proietta in direzione della speranza, battendo i sentieri dell’indagine storiografica.

Festivals and Award

International URTI Grand Prix for Author’s Documentary – nomination
Trsat Film Festival 2016 – Grand Prix for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Composer
Beyond the Borders International Documentary Festival 2016 – Best Documentary
International Festival of Mediterranean Film in Tetouan 2017 
Ethnocineca International Documentary Film Festival 2017
Worldfest Houston 2017 – Bronze Remi
Pula Film Festival 2017 – Recognition for the best Croatian feature film documentary film by the Fedeora Jury
Festival novih – International documentary film festival 2017 – best film
PerSo Perugia Social Film Festival 2017


IDFA Docs for Sale 2016

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