The Diary of Diana B -

Eighty years after World War II, survivors return to the sites of former Ustasha camps only to find that they owe their lives to the selflessness and determination of one woman. An untold story of Austrian born Diana Budisavljević who led one of the largest children’s rescue campaigns of World War II.


Languages: Serbian / German (English subtitles)

Duration: 98 minutes (1hr28)

Genres: Biography / Drama / History

Countries of production: Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia

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The Diary of Diana B -

Eighty years after World War II, survivors return to the sites of former Ustasha camps only to find that they owe their lives to the selflessness and determination of one woman. An untold story of Austrian born Diana Budisavljević who led one of the largest children’s rescue campaigns of World War II.


Deeply troubled by the persecution of innocent mothers and children in Nazi-occupied Croatia, Diana, a distinguished Austrian, undertakes what is to become one of the largest rescue campaigns of World War II - one that saved 10,000 children from certain death. Eighty years later, few survivors return to the ruins of former camps only to find out that they owe their lives to the determination of one woman. Through its fragmentary structure, an amalgam of archival footage, survivors’ accounts, and scenes depicted by Diana in her diary entries, the film attempts to create a cinematic encounter between those the history has unjustly torn asunder: a selfless woman and the children she had saved.

Director Information:

Dana Budisavljević

Dana (Zagreb, 1975) graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb, Department of Film and TV Editing. She has worked as editor, production assistant, and organiser of film festivals. Her directorial debut was the documentary Straight A’s (Factum, 2004), and she has gained popularity with a family film on coming out Family Meals (2012). She has worked as a producer on Slumbering Concrete by Saša Ban, films I Like That Super Most the Best by Eva Kraljević, Then I See Tanja by Juraj Lerotić, and others. Her first feature film The Diary of Diana B. was awarded Grand Golden Arena at the Pula Film Festival making her the first female director to receive main festival award since 1957.

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Director's Comments:

Nine years ago a friend of mine gave me the book ‘The Diary of Diana Budisavljevic 1941-1945’. ‘Any relation of yours?’ she asked. I looked at the black-and-white photograph of the woman on the cover. Her first and last name differed from mine in a single letter. ‘I don’t know,’ I replied, ‘I’ve never heard of her.’ Here began a long journey to find who Diana was, how did she and her collaborators succeed in saving more then 10,000 Orthodox children from ustasha camps. An untold heroic story from Croatian past to teach us how to fight fascism of the present.

Dana Budisavljević