A documentary about Jean-Michel Nicolier, a French volunteer in the Croatian Homeland Defence who was killed by Serb paramilitaries during the Vukovar atrocities, was shown in the Cinema Europa in Zagreb on Wednesday evening.
The film titled "Sve je bio dobar san" ('Le Frenchie de Vukowar' ) by director Branko Istvancic is about the events in 1991 when Croatia was exposed to the aggression lunched by Serb rebels and Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and when a 25-year-old French volunteer Jean-Michel Nicolier arrived in Vukovar to help the Croatian forces to defend the city.
Nicollier watched the Croatian war of independence on television in France, and decided to travel to Croatia. In September 1991, Nicollier arrived in Vukovar, and he was wounded twice in the three months he was there. Nicollier was treated in the Vukovar hospital until the fall of Vukovar on 18 November 1991. On 20 November 1991, he was interviewed by a French reporter, Agnes Vahramian, and described his experience in Vukovar as "a slaughterhouse". The same day, he was taken from the hospital by Yugoslav People's Army and paramilitary Serb forces and transported to the Ovcara farm. At Ovara, according to later witness testimonies, Nicollier was viciously beaten, and killed by a gunshot to the head.
The documentary presents tragic events from the point of view of Nicolier's mother, Lyliane Fournier, who is searching for information and clues that may help her to find the remains of her son and bury him in a dignified manner.
In the 90-minute film, some eye-witnesses speak about their experiences, including Dragutin Berghofer-Beli who survived the torture and executions at Ovcara.
Jean-Michel Nicolier was one of 481 foreign volunteers who fought with the Croatian defenders in the war of independence.