(11-06-2005) The Touching Personal Message of U2's 'Miss Sarajevo' -- Las Vegas Sun* - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-06-2005, 12:46 PM   #1
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(11-06-2005) The Touching Personal Message of U2's 'Miss Sarajevo' -- Las Vegas Sun*

The Touching Personal Message of U2's "Miss Sarajevo"

By John Katsilometes

Thirteen years ago when I was living in Redding, Calif., a worldly friend of mine dating to junior high school pulled into town for a short visit. He brought with him unedited tapes of a documentary film he'd been working on called, "Miss Sarajevo."

"Brace yourself," he said as he popped the first tape into the VCR.

From Bill Carter, it was sound advice. He had spent the previous few years on a humanitarian effort in Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia, which in the early '90s was under siege during a violent civil war. Bill recorded much of the carnage with a

camcorder. Through daring determination and an unbridled belief in his project, he connected with Bono of U2 just before a show in Bologna, Italy, during the European leg of the band's "Zooropa" tour.

The band arranged for live satellite reports from Sarajevo to be splashed across 90-foot screens. Bill served as a sort of field reporter, spreading the disturbing news internationally that the city was in the grip of violence. "Miss Sarajevo" was the title for the project, as Bill recorded a stunning beauty pageant that was held even as the city was being pounded by mortar fire.

At the end the contestants unfurled a long banner that read "Please Don't Kill Us All."

The footage of the courageous pageant closed the film, which was released in 1995 and has won national and international documentary film awards. Bill has since written his memoirs, "Fools Rush In" (WennerBooks, $14.95) about the events that led him to Sarajevo and the making of the film. The book's cover is a powerful shot of a young boy, probably 7 or 8 years old, walking along a sidewalk clutching schoolbooks in his right hand and a pistol in his left.

Bill's project inspired the beautiful U2 song "Miss Sarajevo," in which Bono sings a duet with Luciano Pavarotti. Many years later, as Bono began to tell the story of "Miss Sarajevo" Friday night at

the MGM Grand Arena, I felt chills. And more than 15,000 fans, who moments earlier were in full roar, fell silent. It was the unmistakable sound of an audience bracing itself.

It's an all-U2 column today, music fans ...

Adam's eve: Bono is the center of attention almost constantly. The Edge is the guitar god, frequently out front and under the spotlight. Larry Mullen Jr. is noticed because, hey, the drummer is impossible to ignore. But let us give a nod

to Adam Clayton, U2's no-nonsense bassist.

He might look like one of Uncle Dave's golfing buddies, with that short-cropped gray hair and casual long-legged gait, but when the tempo gets loose -- and it did a few times Friday -- count on Clayton to turn to Mullen and hit reset. Great attire, too -- a brick-red shirt with a yellow starburst on the right side, with charcoal-colored cargo pants ...

Cell of the century: Cell phones have replaced lighters as the audience's choice of illuminating a concert hall. Thousands were used Friday night, and trying to enforce any "No Cameras Allowed" policy these days is folly. Armed with cell-phone cameras, fans fired away at will ...

Elvis does Vegas: An Elvis impressionist -- this one a 1976 model, clad in the unfortunate cape/sequined jumpsuit ensemble -- clambered to the round walkway (at Bono's invitation) as the band performed a ragged version of "Can't Help Falling In Love" ...

Buy the numbers: A concert program cost $15, T-shirts went for $35 to $40 and a U2 "Vertigo" tour jacket for twice that price. But U2 fans are flush with disposable income these days -- a woman in front of me in line, apparently getting the jump on Christmas shopping, spent a quick $260 on her buying spree. Talk about vertigo ...

--Las Vegas Sun
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Old 11-06-2005, 02:32 PM   #2
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John Katsilometes should've better paid more attention to details related to this documentary. First of all, it was not a civil war in Bosnia but agression over a sovereign country, and second of all, contestants are not carrying banner that says "Please Don't Kill Us All", but the one that says "Don't Let Them Kill Us"!

Please don't kill us all how pathetic
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