Legendary film director, Mr Veljko Bulajic, creator of one of the most popular war films in the world “The Battle of Neretva” [in Montenegrin: Bitka na Neretvi], is one of the winners of the prize awarded by the Montenegrin Department for Diaspora, for his contribution to culture. In an interview with Dnevne Novine daily, he was speaking about awards, diaspora, cinematography, but also about an event that happened in Cavtat in 2000, when the Montenegrin President, Mr Milo Djukanovic, in a symbolic way offered a hand of reconciliation to the former Croatian President, Stjepan Mesic, and apologized for the participation of Montenegrins in the attack on Dubrovnik in 1991-92. The famous director himself personally participated in the preparation of this historic encounter which, according to him, represented a decisive moment in the relations between Montenegro and Croatia.
On the event itself, Mr Bulajić said: “I remember that day, early in the morning, I and Croatia’s President Mr Stipe Mesic, left the Dubrovnik port by boat and headed to Cavtat at a scheduled meeting with President Djukanovic and his associates. In a long, brilliant presentation, supported by numerous facts and evidence, President Djukanovic removed stain from Montenegro’s tarnished reputation and offered a hand of reconciliation to the then Croatia’s President. Croatian President Stipe Mesic accepted the hand of Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic. Immediately after that, the prominent veteran President of the Konavle Municipality, Luka Korda, also shook hands with the Montenegrin President even though the Montenegrin extremists left most traces exactly in Konavle.