Adaptation as Emigration: Different Paths to Americanization in Miljenko Jergović’s “Buick Rivera” and Goran Rušinović’s Film Adaptation
Keywords:Adaptation studies, Jergović, Rušinović, Bosnian emigration to the United States
The following essay compares the novel Buick Rivera (2002), written by Bosnian Croat author Miljenko Jergović, and its 2008 film adaptation by Goran Rušinović. The novel’s main plot, dealing with the accidental meeting between a Bošnjak (Bosnian Muslim) expatriate and a Bosnian Serb war criminal in the US, seems unchanged in the film version. However, the director modifies the original setting and several details in the characters’ background stories. Analyzing these changes and the story’s cinematic rendition, we comment on the two authors’ varying approaches to topics such as war, ethical responsibility, emigration, and assimilation in post-9/11 American society. The analysis furthermore develops the idea of the film adaptation process as a unique form of transmediatic and transcultural emigration, in which the plot migrates from one medium to another and from one culture to another with specific effects.
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