The Second Meeting

The Second Meeting

Dale Zelko and Zoltan Dani as seen in THE SECOND MEETING, a film by Zeljko Mirkovic. Picture courtesy Optimistic Films. All rights reserved.

The Second Meeting (2013)

Opened: 05/10/2013 Limited

Quad Cinema/NY05/10/2013 - 05/16/20137 days
Playhouse 705/16/2013 - 05/23/20138 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Genre: Documentary (English and Serbian w/English subtitles)

Rated: Unrated

When Adversaries Become Friends.

The first time, they shot at each other. Now comes their second meeting.


In March 1999, a piece of news went around the world in a matter of seconds: an invisible American Stealth F-117A Night Hawk was shot down not far from Belgrade. There were two protagonists of the event: American pilot Lt. Colonel, Dale Zelko, and Serbian SAM missile commander, Colonel Zoltan Dani, who shot him down. Their first meeting was on radar--Twelve years later, with the help of filmmaker Zeljko Mirkovic, they decided to meet again. Having resisted manipulation by the media and political exploitation, they steered their own course toward a lasting friendship of shared values and love of family. One small step for two men--one giant leap for mankind.

Selected Quotes

"Time heals all wounds" -- British Daily Mail

"A remarkable friendship...sends a message of peace and tolerance" -- BBC UK

"...humanity outweighs the absurdity of war" -- France's Courrier International

"Friendship can save the world"-- Italy's Giornalettismo


Over 12 years ago I was speeding through Serbian airspace, when suddenly and unexpectedly I found myself walking Serbian soil. It was an extremely violent and uncomfortable close and personal "first meeting and visit" with a great Serbian warfighter, his Team, and their Country. 12 years after this first meeting I had the remarkable opportunity to have a second chance at experiencing Serbia and her people. I took the chance and will forever be deeply grateful, enriched, and blessed by it.

Leading up to my "second meeting" with the Man Who Shot Me Down, and anticipated experience visiting and sharing with his family and fellow Countrymen, I was intensely excited with restless enthusiasm and glad anticipation. I was also filled with strong anxiety and reluctance as I was uncertain how I would ultimately be received in this Country I had participated in warring against only 12 years before. After all, I had not been invited the first time and I was dropping bombs--and they were shooting missiles. Reassurance came before my recent travel to Serbia when the Man Who Shot Me Down sent word that this time I am invited and there will be no missiles!

The "second meeting" could not have been more extraordinarily wonderful in so many unexpected ways, and could not have been more natural and spontaneous. It was an indescribably beautiful experience beyond belief and imaging. It was an experience that grabbed my heart to the core and will hold it warmly and comfortably for all the rest of my days. It is a blessed journey that continues--a journey that we all are on together in this World. It is an experience and story that we want to share....

Zoltan Dani about THE SECOND MEETING

Happy is the man who has a possibility to choose. Essentially, freedom is about having a choice, i.e. having several options, or even about having a new beginning if it's possible. The "second meeting" is exactly that -- a new beginning. It is a new possibility made by righteous people. In this way we want to send a message to humanity that it is better to value all those values of life that contain messages of hope and tolerance between people, with mutual regard as much as it is possible.

The "second meeting" has taken place thanks to Mr. Ċ½eljko Mirkovic and Mr. Dale Zelko who have understood that in this way we can give an uncommon contribution that swarms with love and understanding and has a goal to proclaim the world peace. This is exactly "the pearl of the goodness of humanity" we have always lacked.