An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker

by Danis Tanović

An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker


Nazif barely makes ends meet as an iron picker to support his family. He searches daily for scrap metal while his partner Senada tends to their home and their two young daughters. A third baby is on the way.

After a long day's work, Nazif finds Senada laid up in pain. The following day, he borrows a car to drive her to the nearest clinic. The diagnosis is that Senada has miscarried and is still carrying her dead five-month old fetus. The condition is critical and Senada needs immediate treatment at a faraway city hospital.

Because she does not have a state-provided health insurance card, the hospital requests that Senada pay 980 Bosnian marks (500 euros), a fortune for a modest iron picker. Despite Nazif's begging, Senada is denied the crucial surgery and forced to return home to their Roma community in central Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For the next 10 days, Nazif will do everything he can to try and save Senada's life - desperately searching for more scrap metal, seeking help from state institutions... For the next 10 days, Nazif and Senada will be fully exposed to the callousness of contemporary society.



AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER is Danis Tanovic's fifth feature film.

Tanovic's 2001 debut feature NO MAN'S LAND received over 40 international awards, making it one of the most awarded first feature films in history. Set in the midst of the Bosnian war in 1993, NO MAN'S LAND won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as Best Script prizes at the Cannes Film Festival and European Film Awards.

Tanovic has made two other films about war and its consequences. CIRKUS COLUMBIA is set in the period just before the conflict reaches his native Bosnia & Herzegovina, and the English-language TRIAGE, starring Colin Farrell, dealt with post-war trauma.

Tanovic was born in 1969 in Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and raised in Sarajevo where he studied film directing at Academy of Perfoming Arts Sarajevo. When Sarajevo fell under siege, he spent two years on the frontline filming for the army. The material that Tanovic and his colleagues produced on these dangerous missions has been seen in many films and news reports about the Bosnian war. In 1994, Tanovic emigrated to Belgium to continue his film studies at INSAS film school and he began making shorts and documentaries.

In 2005, Tanovic made the French-language feature HELL (L´ENFER), from a script co-written by the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. The film starred many of France's finest actors, including Emmanuelle Beart, Karin Viard, Marie Gillain, Guillaume Canet, Jacques Gamblin, Jacques Perrin, Carole Bouquet and Jean Rochefort.


2013 An episode in the life of an iron picker
2010 Cirkus Columbia
2009 Triage
2005 L'enfer (Hell)
2001 No man's land


Senada Alimanović as Senada
Nazif Mujić as Nazif
Sandra Mujić as Sandra
Šemsa Mujić as Šemsa


Writer / Director: Danis Tanović
Producers: Amra Bakšić Čamo, Čedomir Kolar
Co-producer: Danijel Hočevar
Director of: Photography Erol Zubčević
Editor: Timur Makarević
Sound Designer / Mixer: Samir Fočo
Line Producers: Adis Đapo, Adnan Beširović

Technical Data

Format: DCP / HD / 16:9 / 5.1 audio mix
Length: 74 min
Original Language: Bosnian 

ORIGINAL TITLE: Epizoda u zivotu beraca zeljeza 


An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker

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