‘Why Did You Kill My Parents?’ is ‘our version of Anne Frank’s diary,’ says author Roko Markolovic (by Tanyanika Samuels, NY Daily News, Jan. 19)

A new play written and directed by Bronx high school dean Roko Markolovic recalls the horror of the Kosovo war.

In the play, “Why Did You Kill My Parents?,” the audience will bear witness to one of the many atrocities of the war in Kosovo.

“I see this as our version of Anne Frank’s diary,” said writer/director Roko Markolovic.

The haunting true story unfolds in a small Kosovar city in April 1999. As night falls, a family sits on their porch lamenting the escalating conflict and its toll on surrounding villages.

Soon, the war comes to their doorstep. In the middle of it all is 9-year old Egzona.

“This poor girl gets pulled into this psychological drama,” said Markolovic, an independent filmmaker. “Her story is so strong, so powerful, that you almost forget that two other people are dead.”

Markolovic, who is also a Bronx high school dean, heard the story firsthand four years ago from a family member while visiting Kosovo. He knew instantly he wanted to bring the story to the American stage.

“I wrote this play for an American audience,” said Markolovic, who is originally from Montenegro. “I don’t think they understand the extent of the atrocities committed in Kosovo.”

For Diana Cena, the play’s producer, the story hits home. She knows the family featured in the production, and her family in Kosovo was displaced by the war.

The war in Kosovo vaulted into the international spotlight in the late 1990s, when Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and Serbian forces launched an ethnic-cleansing campaign against Kosovo Albanians.

The conflict, marked by waves of massacres, displaced an estimated 750,000 Kosovo Albanians. A series of NATO air strikes forced Milosevic to withdraw his troops in June 1999.

…[Markolovic] worked with the real Egzona and her brother, Gezim, to re-create the dialogue.

In one scene, the father, Namon, talks about being evacuated by Serbian police.

“As I was driving toward the Macedonian border, I realized that I was a refugee,” he says.

“There were so many people,” his wife adds. “Families traveling on foot. Mothers carrying crying children. Older people barely walking. I couldn’t watch. It was too much.” [..]

“Why Did You Kill My Parents?” runs through Jan. 21 at the UFT Theater, 2500 Halsey St. Shows start at 7 p.m. with an added 5 p.m. performance Saturday. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

So they want you to pay $15 for the propaganda you’ve been getting for free for over a decade.

If even a Montenegrin bought it enough to write the play version of the official story — that is, a member of a nationality historically harassed by Kosovo’s Albanians — then what hope is there for publics that aren’t from the region? Of course, that’s what the Markolovics of the world have counted on all along: that not a single soul in an American audience will have enough of a clue to raise an objection to the wild claims that the play piles on. Which is how it’s been going for 13 years.

Reporter Tanyanika Samuels, meanwhile, repeats with impunity what was repeatedly disproved at The Hague and by independent investigations, regressing to the outlandish claim that other media have abandoned — namely that Serbian troops were engaged in an ethnic cleansing campaign of Albanian civilians. It’s lost on the writer that even she herself was unable to avoid the verb “evacuate” to describe what the Serbian army was doing with Namon.

The article closes with the hackneyed pondering:

“The big question in this is ‘Why? Why did this happen?’,” Markolovic said. “No one has the answer.”

A. It didn’t.
B. Because it’s what the KLA needed: an exodus for Western cameras, to justify a land grab that we’re currently delivering in full.

Finally, one really has to ask: What’s up with the titles of these frivolous little Kosovo creative projects? They’re as child-like as the Disney-level narrative they propagate. First we had the musical “You Took Away My Flag!” And now it’s “Why Did You Kill My Parents?”

The Serbian side could write a few plays of its own. How about a play called “Why Are You Pottying on my Church?”

Or: “Why Did You Drown My Grandma in the Bathtub?”

Or: “You Blew up My Bus!”

Or: “Why Did You Set My Baby on Fire?”

Or: “Where Did You Put my Kidney?”

And certainly a musical could be set to “Why Did You Rape my Sister?”

As for director Markolovic’s tasteless Anne Frank analogy — which the Albanians’ Bosnian Muslim counterparts also tried — well that’s beyond intelligent comment. Suffice it to say, Jews in 1930s Europe weren’t terrorizing their neighbors and ambushing police or supporting those who were, in the name of secession and expansion.

But a Montenegrin school dean in the Albanian-heavy Bronx knows what’s good for him. If Albanians say they’re victims, then you’d better repeat that they’re victims. Or they’ll make you a victim.


Reader Paul writes:

I liked your article on Roko Markolovic, so I googled him a bit. From his facebook page it sounds like he’s Catholic. No ethnic Montenegrins that I ever heard of - not even the Serb-hating kind - are Catholic. Roko appears to be a Croatian name (e.g. tennis player Roko Karanusic) but google suggests that this Roko Markolovic guy is from Ljare/Livari, a predominantly Catholic Albanian area from southern Montenegro near Lake Skadar. Take your pick - Croat or Catholic Albanian - but this guy isn’t Montenegrin.

Speaking for myself, I abhor 1.) Anne Frank copycats (Zlata’s Diary, etc.), especially the fake ones; and 2.) someone who falsely claims or insinuates that he belongs to or is aligned with a group he’s bashing as a means of appearing objective, i.e. I’m Montenegrin but even I can’t help myself from telling you about those awful Serbs. [Hear this Australian KLA-joining doctor freak doing the same. To paraphrase: “My grandfather was Slovenian, so I must surely have been objective because my Slavic background should have led me to take the Serbian side.”]

When the research is done, they just look pathetic. No need to tell you how few of the people who read that NY Daily News article will actually do the research. And this kind of thing - this kind of ignorance and the manipulation enabled by it - will be the slow downfall of the American people. To quote Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast reject knowledge, I will also reject thee…