L’accusé, poète devenu à son corps défendant sniper dans l’armée de Bosnie-Herzégovine durant le siège de Sarajevo, a-t-il vraiment commis le monstrueux crime dont on l’accuse: l’assassinat de deux fillettes serbes pour venger les deux filles de celle qui fut son premier amour? Ou s’agit-il d’un procès monté parce que, issu d’un couple mixte sur le plan de la nationalité, «de tous et de personne», il semble un coupable idéal dans la quête d’une balance entre les criminels de guerre des deux camps? Ou encore, a-t-il été victime d’une vengeance machiavélique de la part d’un mari trompé, membre d’une unité très spéciale des services de sécurité? Dans la procédure judiciaire, le rôle du jury est tenu par le lecteur qui, sur la base du filet de preuves et de déclarations contradictoires, doit reconstruire les événements d’une guerre déjà lointaine et porter un jugement. Mais l’accusé, au lieu de se défendre, récapitule sa vie et fait le bilan de ses pauvres amours, «comme si, dans ma vie, il n’y avait rien eu d’autre, ou que rien d’autre ne méritait d’être évoqué».
Zlatko Topčić (born 30 April 1955) is an multiple award-winning Bosnian writer and screenwriter who is renowned for his screenplays, dramas and novels. He wrote the screenplays for internationally acclaimed feature films Remake and The Abandoned. He was a founder, chief editor of the newspaper Letter (Slovo) and producer of the panorama of the Bosnian war stories in English Forgotten Country (1997) and an anthology of members of Association of Writers of Bosnia and Herzegovina The Best Of (2000). He was president of SOROS Foundation (Open Society Fund Bosnia and Herzegovina). He is one of the founders of Association of Writers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and from 1993 to 2001 the first General Secretary. From 2001 to 2011 he was director and artistic director of the Chamber Theatre 55, which is statistically the most successful period in the history of theater.
During that period, Chamber Theatre 55 was the most successful theater in Bosnia and Herzegovina and region, and with their performances, appeared in many theaters around the world. He was a selector of the International Theatre Festival MESS in 2012 and a president or member of several juries, among others, in 2013 and 2014 for the Award BZK “Preporod” for best play. From 2013 to 2016 he was general director of TVSA. In 2016 he comes to the position of director of the Library of Sarajevo. He is a member of the Commission for Free Artists of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is president of the Arts Council of the Sarajevo National Theatre since 2015.
He graduated from Law School of the University of Sarajevo.
He initially wrote crime novels and short stories, whose circulation reached one hundred thousand copies, under the pseudonym Gold Taucher, which were published in the region when he was 17 years old, and which have sold over ten million copies.
He has published collections of stories: Life Question (1981), Fantastic Stories (1989), Ptica iz drugog jata / A Bird From Another Flock (bilingual edition; 1995), Bogomil Legends (1997) and Selected Stories (2000). He has published such novels as A Man From Nowhere (1986), Kulin (1994), Nightmare (1997, 1998, 2000, 2004), Bare Skin (2004), Safet Sušić (2007), Final Word (2011), Dagmar (2013) and dramas: Collapse (1988), Plays (1995), Refugees (bilingual edition; 1999), Time Out (bilingual edition; 2001), Eight Pieces (2005), Bare Skin (2007), I Don’t Like Mondays (2010), Krokodil Lacoste / Silvertown (bilingual edition; 2016) and Angry People (2016).
His collection of stories, Life Question (1981), and novel, A Man From Nowhere (1986), received excellent reviews from literary critics and readers. Story Love Letter from his first book represented in post-war Bosnian Anthology of short stories, translated into English. In Bosnian and international theaters have played his dramas: Collapse (1986), Musa and The Goat (1993), Kulin Ban (1995), Refugees (1999), Plaza Hotel (2000), Head-On (2004), monodrama Pardon Asks Radivoje, Radivoje’s Son (2006), Happy New 1994! (2006), I Don’t Like Mondays (2009; directed by Christian Papke) and the Krokodil Lacoste / Silvertown (2011).
His drama Time Out (directed by James P. Mirrione, famous British-American theater director, who directs in Hollywood and Broadway, professor at the New York University) had a premiere on English language and the English production in the Great Britain (Wakefield – Bretton Hall, Powerhouse 1; Leeds – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Royal Armouries Museum; London – Gate Theatre, Riverside Studios, 2002) and became the first Bosnian drama performed in the Great Britain, and had a Britain tour. Radio Sarajevo aired several of his radio drama: Happy New Year’s Eve (1977), Interview (1978), Emergency Situation (1987), Walk On The Tips of Your Fingers (1988), Cesare Lombroso (1989), Kulin (1990), Lister’s Machine (1991), Musa And The Goat (1992) and Stanislavski Would Be Pleased (2007). Three times he won the anonymous competitions of Radio Sarajevo (1978, 1987 and 2007) with dramas Interview, Emergency Situation and Stanislavski Would Be Pleased. He has produced over forty plays, and some of the most famous are cult hit plays The Frog, according to which was shot the feature film in 2017, and Helver’s Night, the internationally most awarded play in the history of the Bosnian theater.
His works have been translated into English, German, French, Turkish, Czech, Polish, Bulgarian, Italian, Macedonian, Swedish and Slovenian. He is the founder of the “Bosnian Tomb” Award and “Nedžad Ibrišimović” Award. He wrote screenplays for four documentary films: I Respond To You, God, Blood And Musk, Miracle in Bosnia, and The Best Years Ever.
His stories and dramas have been included in several domestic and international anthologies. He wrote the screenplays for such feature films as Remake (2003; directed by Dino Mustafić), which is the first post-war Bosnian feature film and The Abandoned (2010; directed by Adis Bakrač). He won first prize at an anonymous competition for original screenplay Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the scenario A Man From Nowhere (Remake) (1999).
The script for the film Remake was awarded at the competition of the Ministry of Culture and Sport (1999). In 2002 he published the Remake script as a book. He won the first prize at an anonymous competition for the Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of culture and sport for drama Time Out (2000). His screenplay for the film The Abandoned (working title: Bare Skin) was one of six winning scenarios (91 entries from all over the region) at the ex-YU competition of the first edition of CineLink, which was held as part of the 9th Sarajevo Film Festival (2003).
He won the most important literary prize in Bosnia and Herzegovina, prestigious Annual Award of Association of Writers of Bosnia and Herzegovina for the best book published in 1997 for his novel Nightmare (1998), which was translated into Turkish (Saray Bosna da kabus, Gendas, Istanbul, 1998) and Slovenian (Mora, Založba Goga, Novo Mesto, 2003) and for the best book published in 2013 for the novel Dagmar (2014), which was translated into Czech (Dagmar, For Prague, Prague, 2017). He won the prestigious PEN Austrian Center Award for I Don’t Like Mondays (2009), which is in the book form, published by Der Österreichische P.E.N. – Club, Vienna 2010, printed in over eleven thousand copies, in German language. The theater play was premiered at the International Theater Festival MESS 2009. He is a laureate of the Hasan Kaimija Award for the best book published in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2011 and 2012 and Skender Kulenović Award for the best book published in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2011 for Final Word (2012), which was translated into French (M.E.O. Edition, Le mot de la fin, Brussels, 2016). He was awarded the Fra Grgo Martić Award for best book of fiction published in 2013 for Dagmar (2013).
Topčić is a member of the Association of Writers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and PEN Center of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He played in the junior team FK Sarajevo, where he was offered a professional contract. He lives in Sarajevo with wife Amela and son Kerim.