"The Tolerance that existed between people during the war has changed by competition"

 Interview with Lee Delong

DANI MAGAGINE 09/11/2007

The winner of this year’s MESS jury for the Best Actress Award and for the Public Choice Award speaks to DANI about how it was before the war, during the war and after the war…..Her acting experiences….clowns….female rights.

Without trying to lick anyone’s ass, the Public Choice Award is the one that means the most to me. Actors exist because of the public….

 

Compare Sarajevo today to Sarajevo before and after the war…

…before the war Sarajevo had the most open, most Western, progressive feeling….multi-ethnicity…during war, {Lee was amazed by}…the solidarity of the people, how during the first year the people were hidden in basements and began to help each other to survive. War time Sarajevo changed my world view. After the war, when exiled people returned, competition took the place of tolerance.

 

How would you explain the intensity of culture during war?

Human nature leads people to need to be together, unlike watching a film which is a solitary experience, in theatre we are looking at live people. Acting is like sculpting, carving in the air. The relationship between the audience and the actor is a way of searching for hope. With the lack of food, people ate human experience.

 

Franca Rame said that woman have cried for 2000 years during which time their rights continued to be suppressed and now that it is time for us to laugh at ourselves.

Franca Rame and Dario Fo wrote about 20 monologue plays for women. A WOMAN ALONE can be grotesque but the fact is that this situation of oppression and woman as slave exists even today. The piece doesn’t only criticize men, it criticizes women as well. Franca Rame said that it’s time for women to laugh at their oppression because through laughter, we learn more. I play this role not because I am a feminist, but because I find truth in it. This play is perfect for an actress who would like to explore her ultimate limits. We reduced all the characters to the one woman who…explains to her new neighbor her situation which is funny and sad at the same time. The emphasis is on the text because it’s so well written which is why we cut all the unnecessary gags. Because the play is funny on its own, it’s almost enough just to read the text. It’s strong on its own.

You are famous for being a clown and a film actress. Which presents a greater challenge?

Theatre, I’d say, film, second and teaching is third. The search for one’s clown is the search for one’s self. That is why it is such a long process. ….to be a clown is to be human, already to have two arms and two legs is funny, and the consciousness of how funny we are makes us human….in Sarajevo, I decided to teach clown because I know that laughter is the only way to survive such abnormal circumstances.