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Balkan Book Final_Web

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Balkan Identities, Balkan Cinemas Published by NISI MASA, European network of young cinema. Coordinators, Editors : Matthieu Darras, Maria Palacios Cruz Editorial Secretary, Iconography : Jude Lister Graphic Designer/Layout: Jon Grönvall Layout assistant: Emilie Padellec

Printed by Mondostampe (Grafica & Stampa) Via Stresa 36 - 10149 Torino - ITALIA

March 2008 ISBN: 978-2-9531642-0-6

Balkan Identities,

Balkan Cinemas

4 .

it welcomed young participants from 10 different countries in the Balkan region. BALKAN CINEMAS 5 . BALKAN IDENTITIES. entitled “Balkan Identities. Bulgaria. Organised by the NISI MASA association in cooperation with Art Group Haide. The texts contained in this book are a result of the debates which took place during this week-long event. Balkan Cinemas”.This book is the follow-up of a seminar which took place from the 3rd to the 9th of March 2006 in Blagoevgrad.

6 .

Ahmed Imamovic :: By Una Gunjak 50-54 55-61 62-63 From Yugoslav to Serbian cinema (1991-2001) :: By María Palacios Cruz A short history of censorship in Kosovan cinema :: By Blerton Ajeti & Lulzim Hoti Kukumi. Isa Qosja :: By Alexander Richter 64-72 76 77 The return to grace of Turkish cinema Istanbul Tales (Collective) :: By Gaëlle Debaisieux :: By Matthieu Darras 78-80 81 Index – Films Index – Directors Partners and Contact Info 82-86 87-88 89 BALKAN IDENTITIES.a Balkan label? :: By Laurenţiu Bratan Representation of the border in Theo Angelopoulos’ films :: By Nicéphore Tsimbidaros 27-29 Others on the Balkans :: By Rona Zuy and Gergö Csép 30 NATIONAL CINEMAS Introduction to Bulgarian cinema Whose Is This Song? Adela Peeva :: By Petia Slavova 31-32 33-35 36 37 :: By Laurenţiu Bratan :: By Petia Slavova The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories.The Devil’s advocate on the Balkans :: By Srdjan Keca & Blerton Ajeti 8-9 10 12-13 14-24 17 21 25-26 Kitsch & black Humour . Cristi Puiu :: By Simone Fenoil 12:08 East of Bucharest. BALKAN CINEMAS 7 . Cristian Mungiu :: By Emilie Padellec :: By Jude Lister An overview of the (new) Croatian cinema :: By Jasna Žmak The phenomenon of Bosnian cinema :: By Una Gunjak Go West.CONTENTS Foreword :: By Ron Holloway Introduction: Claustrophobic Balkans :: By Jasna Žmak THEMATIC APPROACHES Imagining the Balkans… in film :: By María Palacios Cruz What is kitch? :: By Tanja Nestoroska Humour . Andrey Paunov :: By Emilie Padellec The old & the new in contemporary Romanian cinema The Death of Mister Lazarescu. Cristian Nemescu :: By Gwendoline Soublin 38-43 44 45-46 47 49 4 Months. Corneliu Porumboiu California Dreamin’. 3 weeks and 2 days.

firstly.” To be honest. I was told that participants would join in workshops and role-playing games in order to try to answer the question: “Which are the common cinema images for Balkan countries?” “Try” was the key word. Upon arriving in Blagoevgrad. as wisely outlined in the NISI MASA portfolio: “Discussions and conferences would focus. as everyone in the film profession knows. This seminar is to take place in the town of Blagoevgrad (southwest Bulgaria.FOREWORD RON HOLLOWAy I had never heard of NISI MASA – until I received this email from Sofia: “My name is Elena Mosholova and I come from NISI MASA – a European network of young cinema enthusiasts. on the mutual impact of society and cinema and. The birthplace of former premier Todor Zhivkov. Blagoevgrad intrigued me.” Not far from the famous Rila Monastery.” My job. Serbia-Montenegro. Thus. close to Macedonia and Greece). Romania. I met with my partners – Matthieu Darras and Elena Mosholova – to see what the seminar aimed to accomplish. But it turned out that the only reason why some invited participants were missing from the seminar could be traced to visa hangovers. was to lead one of the discussions. Croatia. Macedonia. plus the Kosovo Protectorate. Greece. the social impact of cinema varies according to the perception of the viewer. But what interested me the most was Elena’s proposal: “NISI MASA will gather 26 young participants from ten Balkan countries: Albania. Sometimes called the capital of the “Bulgarian Macedonians.” Of course. Bulgaria. on “how Balkan cinema was viewed from abroad. For. on the common features and differences in the identities of people coming from the Balkans. I didn’t think a fledgling organisation like NISI MASA could pull it off. secondly. I’m writing to you with an invitation for a seminar that we are organising. I could begin by saying: “I don’t have the slightest idea as to what Balkan cinema is in the first place!” Following my mother’s advice: “Always admit you’re dumb when you don’t have a clue!” 8 . Slovenia. A university town and mineral springs. To my delight. from rd the 3 to the 9th of March 2006. BosniaHerzegovina.” Since I had written rather extensively on the subject. Turkey. as a guest. with its treasures of the Bulgarian Orthodoxy.

considering. or is there a specific Balkan humour? . That’s where I finally learned a bit more about who and what is NISI MASA. By the time the SIFF 2007 rolled around. NISI MASA was founded in Paris in 2001 by a group of young cineastes – originally from France. Spain and Finland – with the support of the European Union. Pretty high stakes for a young crowd. Whole villages might turn out for a week-long celebration in Kosovo! And I recall how we voted to have the seminar outing at a mineral springs high in the mountains.The “Other” – national films about other peoples in the Balkans. It was awarded to Croatian director Ognjen Svilicic’s Armin (Croatia/Germany/Bosnia&Herzegovina). And that’s where the fun began. a tongue-in-cheek tale about a 14-year-old who journeys with his father from a village in Herzegovina to Zagreb in order to audition for a German film about the Bosnian war. Its title refers (I guess) to something scrawled on a wall in Fellini’s 8 1/2. Following the NISI MASA seminar in Blagoevgrad. But then I heard that NISI MASA had successfully organised a seminar on Human Rights in Turkey. Belgium. A fine choice. Another fine choice. BALKAN IDENTITIES. stereotypes.Humour – national traits.Two other “old-timers” from state film institutes in Bulgaria and Romania were also around to help explain why there happen to be national revivals in some countries but hindrances in others. and has become an ever-evolving European Network of Young Cinema. The prize went to Isa Qosja’s Kukumi (Kosovo). Out of this graffiti evolved a movement. films could be screened as an integral part of the presentation or during the free evenings. then … ad multos annos. Its aims are four-fold: to discover new film talent.Cultural Links – kitsch. myths in national cinemas. Also. the NISI MASA Prize had become a festival tradition. participants from a certain country or region would give a half-hour presentation on a general topic. why might a common cinema market in the Balkans be just a pipedream? Topics? Try these on for size: . Also. I remember one discussion on “Weddings in the Balkans” that brought the house down with laughter. To break the ice and make it easy going for all. a jury was formed to award a NISI MASA Prize at the 2006 Sofia International Film Festival. Italy. If that’s what NISI MASA is all about. . to develop cross-cultural cinema projects. and to create a platform of discussion and collaboration for young European filmmakers. These presentations would be followed by a collective discussion. Not an easy mandate. BALKAN CINEMAS 9 . to foster European awareness through cinema. a surreal tale about a trio of inmates released from an insane asylum at the close of the war in Kosovo in 1999.

the number of countries increases sharply. And the often-quoted characterisation of the Balkans as a powder keg. a rising number of films which show how understanding with ‘the other’ can be improved.g. the mixture of nationalities and the issue of national pride all make the position of ‘the other’ in the Balkans a particularly complex and interesting element of filmmaking in the region. However. I think that this is something which we have also proven to be possible during this seminar. In both cases. the borders multiply. So many differences in such a small area. film represents the perfect medium of expression. with the others always surrounding you. from drama to comedy.. you notice that the letters start to get smaller. The political situation. It is hard to find a recently produced film in any Balkan country which doesn’t touch on this theme at least a little.. the feeling is almost claustrophobic. ‘the other’ is always present.. However it also gives an unnecessarily negative perspective to the whole issue. Whether it be in a positive or a negative way. the Balkans... And if you live in one of these Balkan countries. e. With most of them there should be no difficulty. you cope with them. the interesting thing is that you don’t want to avoid them. ready to explode at any time. makes this understandable. but when you get to certain parts of the world. even if not physically. one would hope... There is..INTRODUCTION: CLAUSTROPHOBIC BALKANS JASnA ŽMAK Try holding a globe in your hands and reading out the names of various countries around it. the historical background. 10 . it is impossible to avoid them.


Approaches Thematic 12 .


the notion of simulation is so central to our culture that the risk of losing touch with the real world looms large. 1995). 1993) possibly have in common? The answer is that they are all somehow responsible for our cinematographic image of the Balkans. Howden Smith. This balkanisation has not only been adopted and assimilated by Balkan intellectuals. cinema being just one expression of this process. he comments on its poor quality and gets hold of the first Mercedes he finds. the Balkans are a shadow-land of mystery. 1995) and Bridget Jones’s Diary (Sharon Maguire. Die Hard with a Vengeance3 ( John McTiernan. high courage and daring deeds – the things that are the soul of true romance are to-day the soul of the Balkans. Furious. 4 Where a Bosnian terrorist (self-defined « Serb. The Peacemaker4 (Mimi Leder. a part of the spell.” . they become even more mysterious. the flamboyant and colourful Zorba (Anthony Quinn). but also the Balkans that Balkan cinema portrays. and of the mystery and glamour of the whole […] Intrigue. plotting. 3 Bruce Willis is being chased by his enemies and has to leave behind the Yugo he was driving as it breaks down. How then can we tell the real from the fake? How can we differentiate between the representation and the object it represents. 1999). 14. to building the image that Westerners have of the region. and simulation often precedes and determines reality. p. They have all contributed. An American’s Adventures with the Macedonian Revolutionaries. Croat and Muslim ») tries to blow up the UN headquarters in NYC. but largely exploited by Balkan cinematography as a whole. a tormented Serbian woman haunted by an old Balkan legend. when the clichés of the 1 Arthur D. P Putnam’s. G. 1908. in a sense. Zorba the Greek5 (Michael Cacoyannis. 6 Where Somalia and Sarajevo are linked in one single sentence. p. We may do well then to question the ‘reality’ of these cinematographic representations of the Balkans. 5 A British writer (Alan Bates) is visiting Greece and comes accross an incredible individual.. In a society such as ours. Similar impassive references to the Yugoslav conflict appear in Home for Holidays ( Jodie Foster. Imagining the Balkans. 14 . Have they become more ‘true’ than the ‘real’ ones ? More ‘real’ than the ‘true’ ones? For centuries. 1964) and Kika6 (Pedro Almodóvar. Howden Smith1 What could the films Cat People2 ( Jacques Tourneur. You become. in one way or another.IMAGINING THE BALKANS… IN FILM MARIA PALACIOS CRUZ “To those who have not visited them. The mysterious Balkans of primitive rituals and brutal passions is not only the stereotype put forward by Western films. Furthermore. but subsequently legitimised.. Western thought and discourse has ‘balkanised’ the Balkans. Oxford University Press 1997. Quoted by Todorova M. Fighting the Turks in the Balkans. 2001). 24. Manchevski or Angelopoulos. to those who know them. 2 Where Simone Simon is Irena. they have constructed a series of Balkans clichés that have not only been confirmed by local filmmakers such as Kusturica.Arthur D. mystery.. 1942).

of a medley of small states with more or less backward populations. là où les rivières coulent au-dessus des ponts”. Albania. We also share a common destiny. Macedonia. Romania.. 21-27 (transl. Moldavia. and Albania. Bulgaria.8 The result of this is a label that no one seems to want to belong to. there is no precise definition of where the Balkans start and end. in a region of hopelessly mixed races. nº 479. Dina Iordanova concludes: “Nominally. Romania. BALKAN IDENTITIES. Moldova and Turkey are also ‘Balkan’ in a number of elements of their 7 www. this question is in fact a complex and sensitive one. 1997. such as the French-speaking Le Courrier des Balkans7. p. The Serbian filmmaker Dušan Makavejev proposes a very peculiar Balkan typology (and topography): “There are 67 million people in the nine Balkan countries. Croatia. although these two ladies drink tea and are persuaded to be in Mitteleuropa. For example. blurring of the competences and borders of law and much else” (Todorova M. 1997. January 2001. afraid. we have 132 million ‘Balkanians’. with no clear borders. European correspondent for the Chicago Daily News in 1921. we have known the Turkish rule for centuries”. Countries such as Croatia. Slovenia. Balkanisation is “the creation. Positif. certain geographers mark the Sava river as its Northern boundary. replies: “Geographically. Following this line of thought. 42 (translation by the author). p.9 Another Balkan filmmaker. corruption. mismanagement. This is why the Balkans are always ‘the others’.. feeling themselves closer to the geographically distant France or Spain. It is an unusual geographical area. 34) .10 Confronted by the complexity of the question and the multiplicity of definitions.org 8 Maria Todorova gives several examples of the negative connotations of the terms “Balkan” or “Balkanisation”: for Paul Scott Mayer. 10 Ciment M. “Dans les Balkans. when asked why his films speak for this region. but according to them.balkans.external representation are internalised? And how does this process of internalisation actually take place? WHICH BALKANS ? The first and most fundamental question one must ask oneself when writing on the subject of the Balkans is of course : what do we mean by ‘Balkans’? Simple as it may seem.. Positif. often negative connotations. the Balkans include Bulgaria. and to the violent promptings of their own passions” (Torodova M. Reference organisations. Greece. 9 Makavejev D. a synonym of war and painful tragedy. Theo Angelopoulos. Montenegro. The term “Balkan” is however not a neutral one. If we add Turkey. p. a continual prey to the machinations of the great powers. Croats and Slovenes often claim their belonging to Catholic Central Europe. Serbia and Montenegro. Serbia and Slovenia. which is leaning on the peninsula with one small leg. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Macedonia. “Balkan – this was once a synonym for unrealiability. We have borders with all of these countries : the former Yugoslavia. we belong to the Balkan basin. Romania. Moreover. irresponsability. covetous. September 1995. Zagreb’s airport would belong to the Balkans whereas Zagreb wouldn’t (in Belgrade and Ljubljana it would be the opposite way). Kosovo. as it has strong. economically and financially weak. “Entretien avec Theo Angelopoulos”. etc. then we Balkanians and semi-Balkanians are 150 million”. often include the following: Albania.. intriguing. BALKAN CINEMAS 15 . And with Hungary and Austria. pp. 35). and Romanians and Moldovians to the group of Latinspeaking countries. nº 415. or as Alexander Vodopivec describes in La balkanisation de l’Autriche.eu. Greece. just as all of these peoples. by the author). lethargy.

such as the Iberian peninsula. cine y medios de comunicación. whose belonging to ‘Europe’ is no longer an issue). 2002. always favourable to Eurocentrism: our ‘nations’. their ‘art craft’. As it facilitates the interaction with far-off nations. In a world where images. sometimes condescending. London. our ‘religions’. our ‘culture’.. peoples and goods circulate globally. their ‘superstitions’. in spite of their undeniable European geography. Ediciones Paidós. Stam and Shohat are well aware of the importance of the media in the multiculturalist debate. their ‘street riots’. Culture and Media. This division organises everyday language into binary structures. our ‘art’. Barcelona. p. Euro-centered thought divides the world into two opposite cultural fields : ‘the West’ and ‘the rest’. Eurocentrism.. BFI Publishing. 16 © Wikimedia. opposes multiculturalism. heritage and self-conceptualisation […]”. they are not considered as part of the Western or European cultural field. In the Balkans’ case. their ‘tribes’.7. the impact of the media on national identity. is very complex.de . our ‘demonstrations’. sometimes demonising towards the non-Western. sounds. 2001. and the active part they’ve played in the Continent’s common history (far more active than other peripheral European regions. Cinema of Flames : Balkan Film.11 “BALKANISM”: A WESTERN VIEW OF THE BALKANS For Robert Stam and Ella Shohat12.. the media ‘deterritorialises’ the communities’ process of selfimage construction. 12 Shohat E. their ‘folklore’.history. Stam R. Multiculturalismo. their ‘terrorism’. but are left belonging to 11 Iordanova D. and on the feeling of group-belonging. our ‘defence’. often altering their cultures.

How can we define it? What is this thing that puts so many different meanings under one label? Perhaps it is easier if we look at the root of the phenomenon. but cheaply and in a way that soothed their own level of understanding. BALKAN CINEMAS 17 . this false sense of aesthetics has grown and extended into all areas of human life. In other words. This is done often without concern over whether those details fit together or not. Since then. Too much detail and elaboration. but as something completely different in another. the big classical pieces of art were being copied and their characteristics reduced. 4. BALKAN IDENTITIES. You can find this same process during the last 15 years within the Balkans. We can see how it is used on purpose by certain famous people to increase their number of fans. They started imitating the aristocracy. When a person pretends to be someone he is not. This often works very well. because it is always fresh and new. especially copying someone without truly understanding who the copied subject really is. Suddenly. because the majority of the general public likes kitsch (don’t laugh. This can be seen in the performances of many actors (when we say that they are ‘overacting’). and there is always a public to consume them. 2. it’s true!). Kitsch is by definition modern. to show prosperity and richness. Both Mila from Mars (Zornitsa Sophia) and Philanthropy (Nae Caranfil) demonstrate the kitsch in people’s characters. as a result of the increased wealth of the lower classes.WHAT IS KITSCH? TANJA NESTOROSKA Kitsch. It all depends on how much knowledge someone has of another’s culture. One of the main goals of kitsch is to attract attention. People come up with new ideas every day. Insincerity. although we cannot really define where the limit is between good and bad taste. something might be seen as kitsch in one society. It was born in Germany at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. A general definition of kitsch can however be applied to the style of both these films: 1. All of a sudden. 3. these people of lower status and level of education had the chance to become someone else.

These are the Balkans of The Prisoner of Zenda19. He calls all the Westerners visiting Greece ‘Europeans’ (and that includes American tourists). 54. which would correspond to 1880’s Serbia. What the West calls the Middle East would be. In the first case. nº 4. he says he’s going to ‘Europe’. To the eyes of the Westerner. 2001. Eastern Europe would be in the semi-Orientalism stage. 16 Imagining the Balkans by Bulgarian historian Todorova explores the ontology of the Balkans from the 18th century to the present day. Winter 1995. 132. (with her husband. and whereas Israel is generally accepted as a Western country. John Cromwell . New York. they are the bridge between East and West.. ‘‘The Threshold of Europe : Imagining Yugoslavia in Film’’. Since the early days of cinema. The Balkans are the expression of the ‘other’. yet culturally constructed as ‘the other’. the Balkans are located closer to the barbaric depths. In the second case.. Orientalism. Austria and the Ottoman Empire). 1997. etc. Richard Thrope . Robert Hayden). nº1. and their marginalisation is not only made explicit by Western thought but also internalised by its own peoples. in contrast with the Greeks. 1997. (Todorova M. 18 Dakovic N. pp. as Todorova13 also points out. James Pott. 17 Milica Bakic-Hayden has dedicated several works to the «Balkanist» issue : ‘‘Nesting Orientalisms : the Case of the Former Yugoslavia’’. 21. Eastern Europe is located along a scale which measures the distance from barbarism to civilisation. In an East/West perspective of the world. pp. DeMille’s Unafraid and The Captive. academic surveys. Greece and the Greeks. the Balkans are a fairy-tale land: idyllic. Nevena Dakovic18 lists the three main characteristics of the Balkan stereotype: exoticism. 14 Ducket Ferriman Z. p. 18 . 1911. Turkey. Richard Quine) of Anthony Horpe’s novel are set in the imaginary land of Ruritania. the Balkans appear to be the last truly exotic hideaway in the ‘First’ World. based on a rich selection of travelogues. 1979. Spring 1992. the Balkans became in time. 1-15. Pantheon. from a Chinese perspective. 51. p. 1952. ‘East’ and ‘West’ are only relative concepts. the Balkans are a powder-keg ready to explode every 50 years. The myth of the West and of the East (or Orient) are two faces of the same colonial sign. Western Asia. vol. «Orientalists Variations on the Theme ‘Balkans’: Symbolic Geography in Recent Yugoslav Cultural Politics». But they are not Oriental either. the ‘tribal’ and the ‘primitive’. 453). ambiguity and ‘third worldisation’. 19 The three cinematographic versions (1937. who as a result are not Europeans. journalism. Spaces of Identities.. quoted by Todorova M..14 However. imaginary and often not clearly defined. the object of a number of externalized political. strongly marked by duality (between East and West. As Ducket Ferriman writes. And just as Edward Said describes the ways in which European literature has constructed a Euro-centred vision of the East in Orientalism15. On that scale. ideological and cultural frustrations and have served as a repository of negative characteristics against which a positive and self-congratulatory image of the ‘European’ and `the West’ has been constructed’’. vol. in a strictly geographical sense. North and South. Slavic Review. Cat People or Cecil B. diplomatic accounts. Rome and Byzantium. functioning as a category of their own and becoming a synonym of the ‘barbarian’. Politics determine cultural geography. filmic representations of the Balkans have inevitably hovered between two poles: romance and violence.the ‘rest’ Shohat and Stam speak of. 917-931. Furthermore. p.. when a Greek goes to France or Italy. 1978. Slavic Review. 15 Said E. Neither definitively excluded nor fully integrated. Egypt and Morocco are perceived as Oriental. a land inhabited by vengeful savages who let 13 ‘‘Geographically inextricable from Europe. a magical region. the work and research of Maria Todorova16 or Milica Bakic-Hayden17 propose an equivalent thesis regarding the Euro-centred construction of the Balkans. New York.

Western characters are never allegorical. During the Cold War. but naturally diverse. The Savior (Pedrag Gaga Antonijevic. and the characters a synecdoche that synthesises a whole group. Stam R. Western filmmakers tend 20 Shohat E. alcohol. 2002. whereas the local populations were only represented by minor and stereotypical characters. in the Euro-centred cinematographic model. 1996). treason. BALKAN CINEMAS 19 .. no matter how large it may be. gambling.their primitive violent instincts guide them. p. the ‘colonised’ are always represented as if they were all the same. which were then largely exploited in the 1990s when Yugoslavia became a war-zone and a very profitable film subject. brutal force. the main characters were Westerners. productions such as the James Bond film From Russia with Love (Terence Young.. When it comes to Balkan film subjects. For Stam and Shohat20. clearly homogeneous. beautiful women unworthy of trust. 1998) and Welcome to Sarajevo (Michael Winterbottom. In all of these cases. 191. films such as The Rock (Michael Bay. revenge. From this period. Welcome to Sarajevo by Michael Winterbottom (1997) © Positif The filmic representations of non-Western nations are allegorical. BALKAN IDENTITIES. This second pole accumulates the large majority of stereotypes usually associated with the Balkans: male chauvinism. 1997) contributed to the construction of an image of the Balkans associated with violence. 1963) nourished these stereotypes. true examples of life’s rich variety. and any negative act committed by one of them is generalised and becomes instantly typical of the whole community. On the other hand.

criticising Western rigidity at the same time. 1997). Furthermore. Two typical examples of this structure are the Hollywood ‘Greek’ movies : Never on Sunday ( Jules Dassin. The first one. whereas in other ‘exotic’ peripheral European regions. Godard. 1957) and Zorba the Greek (Michael Cacoyannis. The traveller meets ‘extraordinary’ and ‘different’ people and situations. was meant to be a celebration of the Mediterranean ‘joie de vivre’. the result was a true festival of clichés. who then returns home (to the West) transformed. the logic followed has been the opposite one. 1996). What matters is the effect that the encounter with Zorba has on the British writer. The traveller is a Westerner or a local living abroad who returns home after a long absence. Zorba the Greek followed the same pattern. as if it had no importance whatsoever.-L. What truly matters is the ‘journey’ undergone by the Westerner. the film ended up reaffirming the same stereotypes. BALKAN NARRATIVES In spite of the great diversity of cinematographic examples so far mentioned. 55-70.to privilege Western narrators : the main characters in Winterbottom’s Welcome to Sarajevo are foreign correspondents in the Bosnian capital. All of these experiences have a profound effect on the character. 1964). and how he returns to England a changed man. a group of Parisian intellectuals. 20 . the Balkans only seem to exist through the eyes of the foreigner. the Balkans don’t exist on their own. such as Spain. In these two examples. filmmakers have used the force of the cinematographic medium to fight existing stereotypes and to reassert Spain’s belonging to the Western world. THE BALKANS SEEN FROM THE BALKANS The Balkans as constructed by the West are the Balkans of exoticism. a large number of films set in the Balkans reveal the same travelogue narrative structure21. they are constructed by the Western gaze. pp. However. those in Forever Mozart ( J. 2001. starring Jules Dassin as an American traveller and Melina Mercouri as a local prostitute. in the Balkans. a young French man travelling across Romania. and in Gadjo Dilo (Toni Gatlif. and although its filmmaker (and writer) was originally from Cyprus. Balkan filmmakers have adhered to Western stereotypes on the Balkans. as the film was entirely built upon the foreigner’s journey and the effects of his presence upon the local Greek community. and are therefore subjected to Western representational forms. not the country and the people he will leave behind. which appear even more so in contrast with the traveller’s normality. What happens to Zorba after the Englishman has left is not mentioned. Balkan narrations are often the account of a journey in the region. In a Euro-centred perspective. Some have certainly taken 21 Dina Iordanova dedicates one chapter of Cinema of Flames to describing and analyzing the Balkan travelogue structure : Iordanova.

humour arises suddenly and directly as a consequence of the absurd elements within the story. that it manages to transcend the obvious tragedy. BALKAN CINEMAS . Within this framework.. a constant presence in the history of the Balkan people. In fact. so raw. But there is much more behind the smiles that Balkan films spark than simply laughing at raw violence.. It is not just humour for the sake of humour. The two protagonists are stuck together as they play a game of life and death which escalates to insane levels. humour in Balkan cinema is usually seen as a mixture of violent.HUMOUR - THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE ON THE BALKANS SRDJAN KECA AND BLERTON AJETI “. The characters depicted in No Man’s Land (Danis Tanovic) are confronted with lifethreatening situations. in my affinity to the comical and in my humour. This is indeed true on a surface level.” No Man’s Land by Danis Tanovic (2001) © Positif BALKAN IDENTITIES. This in itself is innocent because it merely demonstrates the absurdity of everyday life. I am a Slav. always carries with it a dose of the sad humour.” Does this smile which Dostoevsky spoke of come from the very act of death? Or is it the inescapability of the situation that causes us to make this leap of faith? We tend to think of smiles as signs of affection or satisfaction. The insanity is so real.. “In my contradictions. We know that we are not supposed to smile. and in the quick change of my moods. nationalist and sexual references. the smiles are guilty.. in my closeness to a black-and-white worldview. tragedy. Nevertheless. That is the way of the Balkan people. They never change. That smile we all have when someone close to us dies.Emir Kusturica 21 . but we cannot stop ourselves from doing so. In this film.

1998). 1995). it is not surprising that hotels and cafés named ‘Europe’ have appeared in every big Balkan city. 23 Iordanova D. 33. their traditions and peoples.. the Balkans have become a true Chagall painting. it is precisely the ‘Balkan’ film theatre that has been renamed ‘Europe’.. p.which is even more surprising. but fully aware that they were not desirable partners for the European Union (yet). An Unforgettable Summer (Lucien Pintilie. and that in Zagreb. Kusturica’s ‘magic realism’ has become the norm for Balkan filmmakers. 2001. self-inflicted exoticism being the most easily discernible in the medium of cinema23. when Balkan filmmakers represent their region according to ‘East-West’ criteria. the big ‘return’ to Europe has been one of the priorities in the region’s political agendas. Moreover. Ulysses’ Gaze (Angelopoulos.. This self-denigrating has taken several forms. a cineaste who returns to the Balkans after 35 years in America. This is when the representation becomes more ‘real’ than the represented object. encouraging an external ‘judgement’ on their country. for years now. 22 Iordanova D. 1996) or Rane (The Wounds. with young brides flying away. for example Dušan Makavejev and his provocative WR : Mysteries of the Organism (1971) or Srdjan Dragojevic with the more recent Lepa sela lepo gore (Pretty Village Pretty Flame. The Balkan exclusion from the European cultural field has not only been interiorised. four full-length feature films directed by Balkan filmmakers and therefore examples of self-representation. Balkan intellectuals have found themselves faced with the difficult question of how to fight exclusion. Balkan cinemas don’t try to contradict the image Westerners have of the Balkans. Kristin Scott-Thomas. when Balkan filmmakers often choose the same travelogue narrative structure employed by Western filmmakers . always incarnated by faces familiar to the Western viewer (Harvey Keitel. However. As Dina Iordanova explains22. they believed that their situation could improve if they demonstrated their true desire to return to Europe. 1994).advantage of these stereotypes in an ironic way. Dennis Quaid or Rade Serbedzija). Aware of their geographical belonging to Europe. When Balkan cinemas don’t contradict Hollywood’s Euro-centred vision of the Balkans. They make full use of the figure of the visiting Western (or ‘Westernised’) protagonist. stereotypes and divisions. p. 22 . but instead confirm it. it is an American soldier of fortune in the Bosnian war. The Saviour (Antonijevic. In The Saviour. However little by little. 2001. The hero of Ulysses’ Gaze’s is A. all use the same narrative structures as Balkan-located Western films. Incredibly enough. as they are refusing their own point of view in favour of a foreign one. 1994). cows resting on roofs and Gypsies suddenly appearing from the most incredible places to play some music. 67. but has now become a matter of self-exclusion. and thus have been prepared to mirror stereotypical representations of themselves as part of the admission bargain. 1998) and Before the Rain (Manchevski. In order to achieve this they have felt an obligation to appear apologetic.

It seems odd therefore that cows don’t fly and that there are no Gypsies hiding with their trumpets in every Balkan closet. In addition. In Before the Rain. the effect is the radical opposite.Before the Rain by Milcho Manchevski (1994) © Positif In An Unforgettable Summer. lake Ohrid’s blue waters… The final result is the veritable and inevitable assertion of the Balkans as ‘the other’. What Manchevski (himself an emigré in the US) probably intended to show the West was that it must not impose its ethical codes upon other cultures. a cosmopolitan photographer and word-traveller returns to his Macedonian village after 18 years away. However. and is therefore the path which has been chosen. Aleksandar comes from the civilised and rational West and finds a society ruled by intolerance and violence. candles. All the ingredients are indeed there: mysticism. orthodoxy. Balkan filmmakers have made these stereotypes truer than real life. nostalgia. His humanist ideals of reconciliation are quickly rejected and he ends up killed by his own people. as Macedonia appears as a medieval society of tribal cultures. Aleksandar. but to be accepted. BALKAN IDENTITIES. The cinematographic Balkans have succeeded in imposing themselves on our collective imagination. Balkan filmmakers do not seek to be subversive. in adopting Western cinematographic stereotypes on the Balkans. icons. monasteries. we have an Austro-Hungarian aristocrat. BALKAN CINEMAS 23 . Concession works better for them. They no longer have an alternative ideology to counter the dominant Western model.

2. Ciment M. Shohat E. cine y medios de comunicación. là où les fleuves coulent au-dessus des ponts ». Herpe N. Paris. 1981. Cinema of Flames: Balkan Film. BFI Publishing.. nº 415.. nº 479.. 2002. 40-43. (Originally: Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media. ‘‘The Threshold of Europe: Imagining Yugoslavia in Film’’. ‘‘Balkan Film Representations since 1989 : the quest for admissibility’’. Historical Journal of Film. septembre 1995. Iordanova D. Stam R. septembre 1995. Radio and Television. Positif. Spaces of identities. 18. Positif.. « Dans les Balkans. nº 415. pp.. 1997. pp. 2001. Dakovic N. 1998. Iordanova D. Barcelona. ‘‘Entretien avec Theo Angelopoulos’’. 1. Multiculturalismo. London. 1994). 2001. Todorova M. Oxford University Press. Routledge.BiBliographY Baudrillard J. Ediciones Paidós.. Simulacre et simulation.. Positif. Culture and Media. Makavejev D.... Imagining the Balkans. n°1. L’exil et le royaume’’. 24 . ‘‘Le Regard D’Ulysse. pp. Londres. 21-27. janvier 2001. New York. 16-20. Galilée. Vol.

A BALKAN LABEL? Laurenţiu Brǎtan When talking about Balkan cinema. they are labels which can be applied to most East European cinemas. a label to be put on Balkan cinema as a whole. this way of making films is not confined to the Balkans. If we think of the fact that cinema reflects society. black humour. Turkey and Cyprus (Slovenia is now included less and less in commentaries on ‘Balkan cinema’).KitSCH & BLACK HuMour . Of course Balkan cinema does not only consist of Emir Kustrurica’s films . BALKAN IDENTITIES. Fatmir Koci (Albania). but is easily found in many parts of the former communist countries of Eastern Europe. The particular success of Emir Kusturica can perhaps be explained by the fact that he is the most commercial director within a non-commercial cinema industry. black humour? Because it is specific to the East. why kitsch? Well. Emir Kusturica’s films have managed nevertheless to become representative of a large part of the films coming from the Balkans: a mixture of daily-life kitsch and coarse. Mircea Daneliuc and Lucian Pintilie (Romania) and Zornitsa Sophia (Bulgaria) have all made a number of films in which daily-life kitsch and black (often violent) humour are a permanent presence.to a certain extent . His work has become a kind of stereotype. Russians Alexey Gherman and Pavel Loungine and even the East-German Detlev Buck. Directors such as Goran Paskaljević and Srđan Koljević (Serbia).nor only of the films of the former Yugoslavia. and have more or less the same way of dealing with them in their films. And are these features specific only to the Balkans? Not at all. Albania and . the answer is obvious: because it is deeply rooted in the daily lives of people living in the Balkans. BALKAN CINEMAS 25 . Why rough.Greece. the first films which come to mind are those of Emir Kusturica. It includes countries such as Bulgaria. So. examples of directors using these features can also be found in many countries in Eastern Europe: the Hungarian Jancsó Miklós. In conclusion then. the above conclusion should not surprise us (we shouldn’t however make the assumption that the phenomenon is strictly confined to or indeed universal across all East European countries). Furthermore. Many other directors from all over the Balkans use similar themes and plots. Romania.

Niki & Flo by Lucian Pintilie (2003) © Rezo Films 26 .

Turkey”. Alexander. Albanians. exiles. investigates the disappearance of a famous politician. Iranians. their borders and their nationalism with them. close to the Turkish border.THE REPRESENTATION OF THE BORDER IN THE FILMS OF THEO ANGELOPOULOS NICéPHORE TSIMBIDAROS “Any serious consideration of the Balkan peninsula runs up against the unanswerable question of borders… a mixture of the geographical. grim wintry landscapes and cold tonalities . They tear one another to pieces. They both walk onto a narrow wooden bridge. For him. and raising his right foot over the white line he says: “If I make another step I’m nowhere. The other side of the bridge is guarded by a Turkish soldier holding a machine gun.Misha Glenny. bridges and mountains constitute the boundaries of a scattered world: the Balkans. a scene in the refugee camp presents a man showing off a tattoo of an orthodox cross on his arm in order to ‘save the race’. The white one.” . and even within Balkan cinema as a whole. The officer puts his left foot on the ground in a position resembling that of a stork. His investigation brings him to a little town in northern Greece. or I die…” A very long and slow-moving tracking shot follows the wagons of a goods train where refugees are packed. roads. Alexander goes to the border with a Greek army colonel. In The Suspended Step of the Stork. always recreating their own boundaries. the borders are reconstructed inside the refugee camp. the red one. Three painted lines divide the middle section of the bridge. The border is an imaginary line which separates two countries. the historical and the political. nowhere. In The Suspended Step of the Stork the border is often referred as “the borders” (“ta sinora”. says the colonel “is Greece. Here. BALKAN CINEMAS 27 . “The blue line”. the displaced… Most of them carry their nation. immigrants. The usage of long sequence shots. a documentary film-maker. as if they weren’t indeed strictly legal or geographical but blurred and abstract. Ulysses’s Gaze (1995) and Eternity and a Day (1998) constitute a trilogy in which a fascination for the border is certainly at its strongest and most evident within the cinematography of Theo Angelopoulos.common to all three BALKAN IDENTITIES. For example. Angelopoulos strongly questions the limits imposed by the legal reality of the border. but its limits are beyond geography. in Greek). In the second sequence of the film. 1999 The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991). Kurds.

the exile politician/refugee (Angelopoulos maintains a confusion on the identity of the character) asks himself: “We’ve crossed the border and we’re still here… How many borders must we cross to reach home?”. where they started their photo lab and also opened a screening room. When a military jeep patrols along the opposite side of the river. The groom eventually crosses the river in a small boat and meets the bride. 28 . Boundaries are buried under the mist. they moved to Monastir (now Bitola in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). both groups have to run away and hide in the forest. His trip will lead him through Albania. Mastroianni. The wedding sequence is another remarkable example of Angelopoulos’s denunciation of the border. starts his journey in Florina.The Suspended Step of the Stork by Theodoros Angelopoulos (1991) © Positif films . Born of Greek parents in a village in the Pindus Mountains. Skopje’s National Archives and the Yugoslav Film Archives (Jugoslovenska Kinoteka) share most of the Manakia’s photo and film collection. Another part is also stored at Bucharest’s Film Archives. a little town in northern Greece. Romania. (his name is just an initial). The bride and groom are separated. Serbia and Bosnia on a quest for three lost rolls of the first movie shot by the Manakia brothers in the early 20th century. Bulgaria. The silent ceremony takes place on both banks of a large river which marks the boundary between two countries. rain and snow. A.underlines remarkably the misery of these populations stuck in between their borders. Angelopoulos pushes his fascination for the borders and the Balkans even further in Ulysses’s Gaze. The hero. The Manakia Brothers are a perfect incarnation of ‘the Balkans’.

Their ride stops at the border. “Do we cross?”. which imprison those on the outside as well as those on the inside. BALKAN CINEMAS 29 . and takes him under his protection. In this way. Alexander and the child remain silent. BALKAN IDENTITIES. any attempt to appropriate their work would be in vain. Angelopoulos is also strongly concerned with the feeling of being a stranger everywhere. the film ends on a positive note. and because of the complexity of their origins. the last sequence of The Suspended Step of the Stork shows men hanging from the top of some phone polls lined up along the riverside. A tall wire fence marks the border line with Albania. but as the tracking shot moves forward through the mist. brothers and sisters. In the first sequence of the film. restoring the cables. welcomes the one from the Greek side into the taxi and they go to Albania together. in the stillness of the frozen mountains. himself an exile.The Manakia brothers developed their business throughout the Balkans. the other lives on the Albanian one. Alexander says himself that he has always lived his life as an exile. The border separates two sisters. One lives on the Greek side. A. The border not only scatters the land. waiting for the chance to pass through. There. languages. We can hear the words: “Balkan reality (…) is sailing in dark waters now” . Angelopoulos sees them as barriers to love. Standing with her suitcase in the middle of a huge and empty square. The tone of the movie is set. A. A. ignoring borders which were not yet settled. the main character of Eternity and a Day. preventing real communication from taking place. As their work belongs to the collective Balkan patrimony. and religions. drops her in her sister’s town. races. all of these three movies form a kind of protest against the inhumanity of the borders. a writer who is about to go to a hospital to cure a fatal disease. She now becomes an outcast. husbands and wives. the old woman remains immobile. Alexander meets a wandering Albanian child. sinister human forms appear at various points of the fence. The border divides what was before united. it seems irrevocable. In summary. crosses the Albanian border in a taxi. parents and children. These cables could be seen as bridges which transcend the national borders. Angelopoulos seems to be speaking to us through Alexander. where a movie is being screened in front of a large. silent crowd. He drives the child towards Albania through the mist and the snow. demonstrating the will to restore communication between people. A. However. struck by the strangeness of this foreign place. The screen is never shown to us but the voiceover is heard in every corner of the town. The borders are severely marked. wanders into Florina’s main square at night time. As well as the concept of borders. Desperate emigrants are hanging from the wire. but also the people sharing the same blood. Crossing them becomes dangerous. The Balkan dimension of the Manakia archives make them incompatible with any political ideology found within the borders of any single Balkan country. To him. but the driver seems worried about crossing it.

Eternity and a Day by Theodoros Angelopoulos (1998.European’ or American movies to introduce a character simply as ‘The Balkan’. Even in some of the Balkan countries the term has this same negative meaning. Firstly. However. where anything and everything can happen. exotic world. but without recognising their diversity. Greece) © Positif 30 . In countries where several ethnic groups coexist. here the way one nation regards the other is most often negative. our title ‘Others on the Balkans’ can also suggest an outsider looking in at the Balkan nations. or at least mocking in tone. ‘Others on the Balkans’ can suggest the attitude of one Balkan nation towards its neighbours. It is extremely common in ‘other. which can be a great tool for adding humour in certain films. These cultures are in confrontation with one another. whilst his name and the language he speaks suggest another nationality. we can see that their cultures have an important effect on each other. The medium of cinema provides the perfect opportunity to explore the traditional stereotypes and historical issues between nations. For example a man may be introduced as a Serb. ‘Balkan’ often becoming another word for ‘savage’.OTHERS ON THE BALKANS RONA ZUy AND GERGö CSéP There are two different ways to interpret the meaning of this title. ‘Balkan’ here becomes synonym for a far-away. On the other hand.


Bosnia) © Positif BULGARIA ROMANIA CROATIA BOSNIA SERBIA KOSOVO TURKEy 32 .The Perfect Circle by Ademir Kenovic (1997.

and most of the people making movies studied abroad . most of the films made during this period being nostalgic tales of village life. we had problems with censorship which were similar to those of most Balkan cinematographs at this time. such as French melodramas or German horror films. but the second (and more up to date) version says that it was in fact five years later. In recent years we have produced Letter to America and And God Came Down to See us. The first Bulgarian filmmakers made amateur productions. or the last. BALKAN CINEMAS 33 . Comedies changed their emphasis from romantic melodrama to irony and sarcasm. but it has started the process of recovery. During the socialist period.and the 90s became something of a dead zone for Bulgarian cinema. At this time. This is an important distinction. It is often said that the 60s and 70s were the heyday of Bulgarian cinema. the nature of the beginning of the Bulgarian cinema industry is still hotly debated. and some people have even started talking about a new ‘breath of fresh air’ in Bulgarian cinema. as it constitutes the difference between being the first Balkan country to make a film. our cinema tried to transcend its political framework and to be liked by the rest of the world. The characters that were developed were strongly connected with the ideas preached by the ‘high tribunes’. At least now the number of productions is slowly increasing. After these two strong decades for the domestic cinema industry. most of them having no real cinematographic potential but at least a high level of enthusiasm. It often tries to follow the example of established European genres. political changes meant that Bulgarian directors began to lose their way.INTRODUCTION TO BULGARIAN CINEMA PETIA SLAVOVA Our cinema has always had serious problems. which are good films.mainly in Germany and Russia. Since its very beginning it has not been quite sure of itself and of the opportunities available to it. One hundred years later. Up until the 1970s there was no education in the domain of cinema in Bulgaria. which do not fit with its own identity. primarily the importance of the collective over the individual. This obviously kept spectators from buying tickets for national productions . Rangel Valchanov’s The Small Island (1959) represented perhaps the first frank opposition to this perspective. each of whom was portrayed as an individual character. The industry of course has a long way to go. The film told the story of a group of political prisoners. The number of films being shot declined . It was the first time when such a distance from the group could be so clearly seen. but as the only representatives of Bulgarian cinematography they are hardly BALKAN IDENTITIES. The first version of events is that the first Bulgarian movie was made in 1910.the lowest point being one per year .a problem which still exists today.

In this year. This is not poetic cinema .Ivan Barnev.1 Lady Zee is the story of an orphan girl who lives a solitary life. wanting to fit in all their ideas. Whilst they want to show the paradoxes in this country. Why are we so unable to match these achievements? Some filmmakers have said that the biggest obstacle is finding funding. a new group of directors appeared . 34 . which was shot by Georgi Deulgerov with a cast of non-professional child actors.from Turkey. At the International Sofia Film Festival there have been extraordinary films from our neighbours .. from Romania. and managed to set up their own production house named Class film.the film is very realistic.Rositca Valkanova. Bulgarian producers also started to shoot co-productions. performing in I Served the King of England by the Czech director Jiri Menzel.. The main problem is actually thus: as many Bulgarian filmmakers only have the means to make 2 or 3 productions during their entire careers. when they do make a film they are overambitious. The real change however came about in 2005. whose performance happens to complement the ensemble very well. Only one of the actors was a professional . 1 Barnev was the first Bulgarian actor in 30 years to participate in the Berlin Film Festival. It was awarded a prize at the Sarajevo Film Festival. they end up confusing daily-life issues with realism. Indeed it is true that some new films found their place at interesting international festivals. Bulgarian spectators had the chance to watch films like Lady Zee. In 2004. it was said by many that Bulgarian cinema had begun a new renaissance. The group even have their own producer . but there are many good films with small budgets.Lady Zee by Georgi Djulgerov (2005) © BOROUGH Film Ltd sufficient.all of them students of Georgi Dulgerov. who studied in the same class. After the success of this film.

She wants to know the real reasons for this crime. all of them co-productions with Germany. The films belong to the tradition of European cinema. Indeed. an unknown village or in the lonely mountains. it seems that the real problem for Bulgarian cinema is that people in Bulgaria don’t want to watch domestic films. They live in a big city. tells the story of three very different women who are all searching for happiness. ‘Winter’ is the key theme for their stories… Christmas Tree Upside (by Ivan Cherkelov and Vasil Jivkov) is quite simply the story of a Christmas tree which is driven through different places in Bulgaria. Monkeys in Winter. Christmas Tree Upside and Investigation. BALKAN IDENTITIES. they made the films Monkeys in Winter. The final destination of the tree? To become a decoration. Along the way. but this is simply not true. and to go deep into the mind of the killer… Some of these films took part in the Rotterdam festival. but with a twist. but the female detective is searching for something more. It is a crime story. Each of the characters is colourful and yet simple at the same time. We (and the police) know who the murderer is. They think that these new productions are of poor quality. BALKAN CINEMAS 35 . Bulgarian films will find their audience . it witnesses the destinies of the people around it. by Milena Andonova. just like human destinies… Investigation (by Iglika Trifonova) was the last good film to be released in 2006.In 2006. because they have lost faith in Bulgarian filmmakers.the European one. Who believes that happiness exists? Look at these true people.

BULGARIA WHOSE IS THIS SONG? Adela Peeva’s Whose is this Song takes its name from the question that she asks herself while having dinner with friends in Istanbul. There is nothing strange within the song itself. quarrels are followed by forgiveness. Each of them have heard it in their childhood. Turks. Let us remember that its purpose has always been to bring people together! PETIA SLAVOVA 36 . Each of the friends claims that this music belongs to his nationality. It sounds familiar and even native. Turks. that which can set the friends against each other. There. so seriously. In the Balkans. and it is clear that we are similar in many ways. to judge and to hate each other? Especially over such a thing as music. because it touches on the most sensitive of Balkan issues national identities. But what is the meaning of ‘the other’ on the Balkans? Just neighbourly relations? Friendship? For me this is not enough.ADELA PEEVA. There is no problem until the moment when each member of the group starts to hum the song. why are we so quick to accuse. Everything is going on well until a song is played. Only in familial environments can people argue so frankly. Greeks. I recognise these relationships more as kinship ties. an art which transcends all borders. the issue of the search for roots is raised because of collective forgetfulness. Serbs and Bulgarians . Only in a family circle is it possible for people to have such intense bonds. There are Greeks. Here comes the conflict. Macedonians and Serbs.do we all have common roots? And if so. And yet the historical and geographical borders have often fluctuated within the Balkans in the past.

there are still the vipers which hiss there. they leave the odour of sulphur and the opacity of the heavy clouds of insecticide in the air. From the hunters at the Punata tavern to the cheerleaders. If Giorgi and the Butterflies captured the foolish dreams of the director of a male psychiatric wing.in hand. In the epilogue. Andrey succeeds in uncovering the ‘real’ problems of Belene. she denied everything.a fly swatter or the less classic vacuum cleaner and hunting rifle (!) . BULGARIA Young Bulgarian director Andrey Paounov seems to have a weakness for insects. everyone has their own little turn or anecdote. The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories. The central question of the mosquitos is however just a pretext. sometimes with weapons .ANDREy PAUNOV. from Boyko. The final dotted line of an overwhelmingly beautiful film. Deceased in October 2005. insisting she had done nothing. the photographer-historian of the town. the traumatisms left by the communist era are revealed as the true local gangrene. To not remember. One after the other. During her trial for multiple pre-meditated murders. In reality. the two fishermen and ‘beckettian’ companions. A black hole in the middle of a swamp. almost each one of them responds. via the only Cuban survivor amongst the communist ex-workers of an abandoned nuclear centre: Fernando Diaz or even Ivan and Petar. Julia Ruzhgeva was a guard in the camp. even if the mosquitos constantly occupy the screen . of which the meaningful silences are a persisting symptom. which was in operation between 1949 and 1959.other more important threats hang over the town. EMILIE PADELLEC 37 © AGITPROP (2007) THE MOSQUITO PROBLEM AND OTHER STORIES . to the pianist-composer Todor. explores the tragic-comic sanitary crisis of Belene. The island of Persin still bears the undeniable scar: the old communist concentration camp. Little by little. facing the camera.although they are cunningly invisible . totalitarian or nuclear. How to approach the mosquito problem infesting Belene. a township of some 9000 souls along the banks the Danube. from which Andrey Paounov borrows a few minutes of unbearable archive footage. Even if the “zanzare” are a veritable plague. this is the recurrent question which Andrey Paounov poses to his subjects. his second documentary. In the opening sequence of The Mosquito Problem… her own daughter meditates by the still nameless grave of a mother who was perhaps a “monster”. Past or future. and eventually ‘liquidate’ it? Falsely innocuous. her tears are effaced by the innocence of children’s laughter in Belene. Even if the horror has disappeared.

when not one single feature film was released) did not happen by accident. Some of the main causes of this decline were obvious. culminating with the above-mentioned collapse). but in Romania the communist ‘thawing period’ was too brief for such a phenomenon to occur. Even if eclectic stylistically-speaking. as at the beginning of the 2000s a new generation of filmmakers became well-known: Radu Muntean.THE OLD AND THE NEW IN CONTEMPORARy ROMANIAN CINEMA Laurenţiu Brǎtan THE 1990s . and the dominance of the official filmmaker of the former communist regime Sergiu Nicolaescu. On the other hand. The most notable one is Lucian Pintilie.THE COLLAPSE The collapse of the Romanian cinema industry at the end of the 1990s (its lowest point was a one and a half year period between 1999 and 2001. and all of them (apart from Liviu Ciulei) lasted until the 1990s. Corneliu Porumboiu. Romanian film production was artificially maintained during several decades of the communist era at a level of 30-35 long features per year. the perpetuation of an incompetent. his oeuvre is marked by features which make him unique in the Romanian cinema industry: principally his professionalism and his refusal to compromise with the communist regime. Generally speaking. This was proven to be untrue. 38 . Miloš Forman or Jiři Menzel in Czechoslovakia. Romanian cinema in the 1990s was characterised by a constant decrease in production (on average only around 10 per year. such as the supposed ‘lack of talent’. Cristi Puiu. Amongst Romanian directors there were however some (semi)exceptions to the rule. later on. for instance). a certain way of thinking (which had already proven its inefficiency over the years). but rather as the result of the overall situation in this field. Romanian cinema neither gave birth to a specific movement (like the Czech New Wave. nor to any director with a highly individual style (like Gothár Péter or Szabó István in Hungary. It was a false reality and. Krzysztof Kieślowsky or Roman Polanski in Poland. Cristian Mungiu and. some of the causes which were put forward by commentators were more speculative and often a source of controversy. Jerzy Skolimowski. despite the statistics. Tudor Giurgiu and Cǎtǎlin Mitulescu. Emir Kusturica or Goran Paskaljević in Yugoslavia etc). Bulgaria too saw a timid New Wave emerge in the 1960s. corrupt system.

Stuff and Dough was released on the 1st of June 2001. However. 1993. making his outstandingly fresh debut in 1993. Switzerland and Spain). He then left for France. who also made his first full-length feature film in 1993 . The cause of this continuous decline was to due to the major economic and social problems of the country in this difficult transitional period. not one full-length Romanian feature film was released in cinema theatres. Radu Mihǎileanu was another. or Nicolae Mǎrgineanu. also the year that his last film Who Is Right? was released) and the more average Mircea Veroiu.Dolce farniente. 1991. such as Luxury Hotel (1992). with E pericolosi sporgersi. Sergiu Nicolaescu.One other very important factor during the 1990s was the disappearance of political censorship. by director Mircea Veroiu. sexual vocabulary . or The Sleep of the Island (1994). in this decade few real talents emerged onto the Romanian cinema scene. unfortunately. Terente. The actors in Stuff and Dough are incredibly natural in front of the camera. but the film was.Trahir (co-produced by France. Romanian cinema began to co-produce B-movies with US companies. For a year and a half. no better than the previous one.or very poorly made productions. shortly after these extremely dark times. and then following this with Asphalt Tango and an Italian production .THE EARLy 2000s The beginning of the new millennium was a real low point for contemporary Romanian cinema. films about the communist regime sometimes also embraced parable-like forms. 1995). like those directed by Andrei Blaier (Divorce from Love. two major Romanian film directors passed away: the unique Alexandru Tatos (who died in 1990. Mircea Daneliuc is one of the directors who chose this approach. 1990) and Lucian Pintilie (with his famous work The Oak in 1992 and the less accomplished Too Late in 1996). Romanians began noticing the first hopeful signs of a new emerging generation of directors who would soon become well-established. the 1990s also produced a series of bad-taste comedies dominated by vulgar. During the 1990s. by director Dan Piţa. there was Bogdan Dumitrescu. The Stone Cross. a camera used to actors 39 . THE FIRST SIGNS OF A RESURRECTION . where he has lived ever since. such as Florin Codre (Red Rats. The 1990s also saw the release of the TV film No One Lives Here Anymore (1995) by Malvina Urşianu . and was considered to be a breath of fresh air. In 2003 she tried again with What a Happy World.a Romanian filmmaker who always aimed to create an original oeuvre (unfortunately in reality she never succeeded). However. Unfortunately. Cristi Puiu was one of the first young filmmakers who made a name for himself at this time. Once censorship had been abolished. in films dominated by an atmosphere of hysteria. Also during the 1990s. Some other directors also adopted this style (fortunately without the same hysterical elements). which led to the birth and subsequent proliferation of a post-socialist. who is now known for making full-length features in co-production with German studios. Nae Caranfil was one of them. The King of the Marshes.such as The Second Fall of Constantinople (1994) by director Mircea Mureşan . neo-realist style. Last but not least.

2006: THE CONFIRMATION OF A REAL CHANGE The biggest revelation in Romanian cinema since 1990 has been Cristi Puiu’s second long feature. Radu Muntean brought to the screen a marginal social category which Romanians rarely discuss: the Gypsies. if not unique within the industry. Occident is set in the context of post-communist Romanian neo-realism and. 1993. The difference is that the narratives do not contradict each other. and later on Ambassadors Seek Country. Moreover. There is a huge distance between the spontaneity and freshness of Stuff and Dough on the one hand. In addition. Fedup. the film itself as a whole is an excellent sample of ‘cinévérité’ . The Snail’s Senator.and a greatly accomplished one at that. just like the wheels of a very efficient machine. thanks to its remarkably maintained sense of suspense. but converge towards the same point at the end of the story. but also girls from time to time) from the poor neighbourhoods in the outskirts of the big towns. or The Nervous System. 2005).Eugen Ionescu and Samuel Beckett. 1994. Sergiu Nicolaescu. Puiu’s debut was compared to Spielberg’s Duel (1971). gestures and over exaggerated methods of reading their lines. Nicolae Mǎrgineanu and Mircea Daneliuc (The Conjugal Bed. 2003. The any-man facing his death is the real theme of the film. is subtly free of the general hysteria of this genre of Romanian cinema. and fury is the emotion which dominates the film. Occident is somehow related to Kurosawa’s Rashomon. 40 . something very rare in Romanian cinema. It is undoubtedly the most successful hit film ever to come from Romania. The film brought a new point of focus into Romanian cinema: young people (especially boys. the second revelation of the early 2000s was from Cristian Mungiu. Before even being released on the Romanian market. complex structure of the script is very rare. as in addition to this recognition at Cannes. in the context of Romanian cinema in the new millennium. The Death of Mister Lǎzǎrescu (released in September 2005). 1995. In fact. Chronologically speaking. Just like Puiu’s Stuff and Dough or Nae Caranfil’s Philanthropy . The last revelation of the early 2000s was Radu Muntean’s Joint. The film was presented at Cannes in the Directors’ Fortnight section. ‘Fresh’ is again the word which best describes Joint. The puzzling. and social injustice. just like the two above-mentioned films. and the stifling artificiality of the films of Dan Piţa. Cristi Puiu’s approach comes from the absurdist theatre movement . The film revolves around the same social phenomenon which is often reflected in Romanian hip-hop music. insecurity. with their theatrical manners. It is the characters themselves that make the story advance. The finesse demonstrated in the psychological analysis of the characters is outstanding in Puiu’s film. 2005 . the film was awarded a large number of other distinctions and received remarkable critical reviews all over the world. The complicated mechanisms of the editing and the script work very well.with experience in the theatre. Joint’s title in Romanian is Fury. the film obtained the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes. The fury of poor young people forced to face daily violence. released in November 2002. who released his debut feature Occident in September 2002.

Cristi Puiu’s judgement about man’s true nature is merciless and leaves us without hope. the lesbian relationship in the film is counter-balanced by an incestuous one. Love Sick was presented at the Berlinale. The classical love triangle is thus turned into a highly controversial one. Thus. the film is about the grotesqueness of daily life. ‘Man is mean. and the meaning of man’s existence on Earth.the only film ever to speak about homosexuality.The dire Romanian medical services are just the backdrop for a metaphysical interrogation of the meaning of life. The Way I Spent the End of the World by Cǎtǎlin Mitulescu (all full-length feature debuts). within the Panorama section. 2006 was the year when a large number of notable films were released: Love Sick by Tudor Giurgiu. Moreover. It is this judgement which provides the film with its great force. It is worth mentioning perhaps that The Death of Mister Lǎzǎrescu was meant to be the first episode of a series of Six Stories from the Outskirts of Bucharest. Puiu is an existentialist in his way of seeing things. and death.even death is awfully mean’ is the message that Cristi Puiu wants to convey. Love Sick is a first for Romanian cinema . BALKAN CINEMAS 41 . and The Paper Will Be Blue by Radu Muntean (his second feature). 12:08 East of Bucharest by Corneliu Porumboiu. It was released in Romania in April 2006. life is mean. the meaning of death. and at a large number of other international film festivals around the globe. and . All four directors belong to the younger generation (none of them are over 40). Love Sick by Tudor Giurgiu (2006) © Libra Film BALKAN IDENTITIES.most tragically .

In brief. For the first time in the history of Romanian cinema. and his careful attention to detail means that he belongs to an entirely different genre than his contemporaries. Nostalgia is the key word. the plot is about some intellectuals from a small provincial town who are trying to analyse the spread of the 1989 Romanian Revolution through their forgotten burg some 16 years after the event. the story taking place during the last months of Ceauşescu’s dictatorship. In Porumboiu’s film. Porumboiu’s sense of derision is extremely acute. the minimalist style and naturalism of the situations and actors all contributing to its success. The Way I Spent the End of the World is a peculiar film in a way. The end-of-the-world atmosphere is very well-emphasised. seen through the eyes of a child and a teenager. ‘Fresh’ is once again the word that best describes the qualities of this film. The Way I Spent the End of the World by Catalin Mitulescu (2006) © Strada Film 42 . It was released in Romania in September 2006. Mitulescu does not deal in minimalism. where it obtained the Golden Camera award. and the whole film revolves around it.12:08 East of Bucharest was presented at Cannes in the Director’ Fortnight section. determining every behaviour and social relation which takes place between the characters. Unlike Puiu and Porumboiu. but not in a Beckett-like way. It is the ridiculousness of their dialogue which creates humour within the film. in the context of the younger generation. 12:08 East of Bucharest too speaks about the mean side of life. high-quality sarcasm dominates. the assertions of the characters are so removed from reality that they become farcical. differing from Puiu’s in that it emphasises the humour rather than the gravity of situations.

by director Alexandru Solomon. BALKAN CINEMAS 43 . rather than a ‘new wave’: the directors do not belong to a distinct group and they do not cultivate the same aesthetics. 1 Some of the English film titles quoted in this article are informal translations. The action takes place over the course of one single night and relates to a tragic episode. 2002) and Geo Saizescu (Pǎcalǎ Returns. BALKAN IDENTITIES. Also. and both the dialogue and the performances are remarkably natural. wherein several young soldiers are shot by their colleagues as the result of a misunderstanding. 15. minimalist gems The Afternoon of a Torturer (2001). some of the poorer quality productions being from Napoleon Helmis (Italian Girls. in the Un Certain Regard section. 2003) and Radu Potcoavǎ (Happy End. It was released in Romania in September 2006. but they rarely get a release in theatres. by directors such as Sergiu Nicolaescu (Orient Express. On the contrary. one director belonging to the older generation who has continued working . official English titles are not available for films which have not been released outside Romania or taken part in any international film festival. The Way I Spent the End of the World was presented at Cannes. 2006). The older generation has also continued to shoot during recent years. Dan Piţa (Second Hand and Dream Woman. Documentary-making is actually rather common within the Romanian industry. Nicolae Mǎrgineanu (Bless You Prison. Andrei Enache (The Tank. both from 2005). and then released in Romanian cinemas in October 2006. and received a prize for the best female leading role (played by Dorotheea Petre). 2005). and more precisely with the events of the Revolution itself. However one should not imagine that all young Romanian directors have made notable films. 2004). they are very different in their methods of shooting and in their attitudes towards cinema. Niki and Flo (2003) and the medium-length feature Tertium non datur (2006). for example the outstanding. amongst others.This is one of the reasons why we speak about a ‘new generation’ when referring to today’s Romanian cinema. an excellent full-length documentary was released in cinemas (the first since 1990) . The Paper Will Be Blue was first presented at the Locarno International Film Festival (selected for the official competition section). Last but not least.Lucian Pintilie . 2004. Awful films have been made.The Great Communist Bank Robbery1 (2004/2005).has recently produced films which are far superior to his work during the late 1990s. The film (once again) deals with the subject of the 1989 Romanian Revolution (it is nothing more than a coincidence that these three films all deal with the same theme). The film was very well constructed by director Radu Muntean. as 35 mm prints are expensive. 2006).

Will he be able to die with dignity? Will he die in the ambulance? Will he be alone in his last seconds? This film is universal. but all that we see on screen is pure fiction. The film gives few precise details. but death . the very last second of the life of Mister Lazarescu. We are not just following the story of one man. The spectator knows from the very beginning what the ending to the story will be. We know that sooner or later we will be on that ambulance too. even if we already knew the ending from the very first second of the film. it doesn’t refer to the particular conditions of a precise hospital in a specific country. ROMANIA The title of this film is somehow the film itself: what we see. SIMONE FENOIL 44 © Mandragora (2005) THE DEATH OF MISTER LAZARESCU . Thus it is not so important to know who this man was. The narration is given in a style typical of documentaries.CRISTI PUIU. at home. we want to see the last minute. looking for a final hope in some hospital. With such a plot. How does a man slowly leave his life behind. It is simply the story of the last three hours of Mister Lazarescu. starts to feel very ill . It reaches the difficult goal of shifting the subject of the story from what seems to be the main character. but any man could die like this in any country. The main character of this film is death. An old man. and what happens in that transitional period? This is how the film manages to keep our curiosity alive throughout. Mister Lazarescu. in a hopeless race against the time. is nothing more than the death of Mister Lazarescu. In this way a man dies in Romania. We are curious to see how Mister Lazarescu will arrive at his end. There are good performances. being moved around from hospital to hospital. or why he is going to die. a well-structured screenplay. it would appear very difficult to keep the interest of the viewer alive for over two hours. At the end.he has some problems with his stomach. long silences. to something different. Death is all over this film. He calls for an ambulance. a narration in real-time. what his life was like. This is why we are so curious to see what is happening. Nothing else takes place within whole film. this is the principal and strongest force of the film. We are on that ambulance. and as he waits he asks for help from his neighbours. The ambulance arrives. We want to see these last moments of life because we want to know what will eventually happen to us.his death. But at the same time. we can see him losing his consciousness little by little. from beginning to end. The subject is not in fact Lazarescu. and it’s the beginning of a long odyssey through different hospitals.

what is Romania doing? It is not preparing its midday meal. Our teacher is an alcoholic. of course. BALKAN CINEMAS 45 . Our presenter. each want to restore their own reputations. but examines it through people’s memories. if not the fundamentally human vice of fabricating the truth? Here we have portraits of characters who. © Perisop Films (2006) From indifferent failures in the outside the world (and individuals who were submissive to the dictatorship of Ceaucescu). At a time when historic wounds are being well-bandaged. Yes. or taking a walk through Bucharest… it is having a good gossip. this film from Corneliu Porumboiu stands apart. they become activists. to show that they are worth more than is thought of them. their village rose up before BALKAN IDENTITIES. And our old man. they try. ROMANIA 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST It is 12:08. Undervalued by the other inhabitants of their village. each in their own way. and so transform the 22nd of December 1989 into a day of personal glory.CORNELIU PORUMBOIU. At least with what memories they have left. It does not return to the Romania of Ceaucescu in flashback. a part-time Father Christmas. And where is it gossiping? On a small television studio set. through a television programme. for X or Y reasons. a barnyard philosopher. The subject of 12:08 East of Bucharest is thus: how does one discuss objectively a past which. has already been remodelled? What are the two guests of the programme within the film guilty of. fists raised.

like history. the Romanian director questions the cinematographic form. The viewer will conclude that the revolution did not take place in this village. Many contemporary films walk this tightrope which is the separation/union between fiction and reality. but the main intended purpose is to be an exposure of the fact that cinema. director because in deforming them he presents them to viewers as the only objective truth.the official hour of the end of the regime. of being truthful. the camera clumsily zooms in and out before freezing on one shot. Assistants appear in the corner of the frame to readjust a microphone. proves to us the opposite. It is interesting to note how our three protagonists take pleasure in the roles which they give themselves. captured by hesitant camera-work. The telephone calls from the villagers throughout the programme. As he explores the deformation of history. His film has the appearance of a parable. not forgetting to reveal its difficulties. for a duration of 45 minutes. they were revolutionaries. with a comical situation and a shoestring budget. This is where the difficulty of the exercise comes from. but it is not. is inherently subjective. He questions more than he delivers. are as much a reminder from the director of the difficulty in speaking the truth. Porumboiu shows us the mechanics of his mise en scène. Yes. The film becomes all the more farcical as it focuses. Porumboiu. The television set is recreated space in which each character is as much actor as director: actor because he plays with his memories. Porumboiu is not of this philosophy. GWENDOLINE SOUBLIN 46 . seeking to correct the version of events put forward by our two stooges. an acting lesson. and yet without being subjected to any self-righteous morality. This may technically be a film within a film. always trying to deliver the absolute truth. on a universe of lies which are constantly put into question. “Nobody is interested in the revolution anymore”. The television programme becomes almost an open theatre. says one of the characters in the film.

“expelled” even from the bathroom tiling. Humiliated and violated following the blackmail imposed upon them by the ‘angel-maker’. ROMANIA 4 MONTHS. 4 months. Gabita. which will leave her too deeply marked. At this stage of a pregnancy. put into effect in 1966. accompanies her throughout this irreversible ordeal. detailed account. Try to forget. 3. An unyielding urban and social tale capturing a harsh reality. 2: one declared death sentence. only one question remains: was she able to bury it or not? The question is a murmur. abortion is entirely illegal. 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAyS It could have been an innocuous. Give birth to a new secret. she finishes her blind race at the top of a squalid stairwell. Practised in spite of everything. three weeks and two days. forbidding abortion for women under the age of 40 who had not already conceived at least four children. The negative consequences of this pro-natalist policy were many: the development of clandestine abortion. Unbearable. The deed is horrifying. 3 weeks and 2 days. Four months. a young student living in university halls. prepares herself for an illegal abortion within the walls of a city-centre hotel room. facing the flap of a narrow rubbish chute. the popular music of a finishing marriage ceremony sounds. We are made to think of the Dardenne brothers. 3 weeks and 2 days reveals a form of urgent cinema. the response a last sealed pact between them. Return to the sizzling neon lights of the hotel. Such is the starting point of 4 months. From the early morning preparations until the middle of the night. EMILIE PADELLEC BALKAN IDENTITIES. already. In imposing a very raw style. One of the first laws to be repealed after the fall of the regime was “decree 770”. Except that the title of Cristian Mungiu’s film hides an unrelenting countdown. dirty streets of a town plunged into the inky black of an endless night. Otilia. the act then becomes clandestine. etc. Otila’s frantic and lonely wandering leads her through the labyrinth of small. it brings to the fore the past of a country traumatised by Ceauşescu’s regime. the two young women must then dispose of the foreign body. Cristian Mungiu sets himself apart from the tragicomic. BALKAN CINEMAS 47 . Not to be spoken of again. refusing all pathos and dead screen time. disturbed by barking dogs and the sound of unknown footsteps. 4. her roommate.CRISTIAN MUNGIU. This second feature film from Cristian Mungiu reminds us that the after-effects of what was called by Ceauşescu “the Golden Age of Romania” have not yet finished healing. Doubly traumatising. handsomely paid for what is a most rudimentary operation. Indirectly however. the considerable rise in maternal mortality rates. Although the theme of abortion is not specifically Romanian. Between the two friends. On the ground floor. Almost hounded. a common trait within young Romanian cinema. he shares with his compatriots an attraction towards relating stories which belong to their recent communist past. Forget.

4 Months. 3 Weeks and 2 Days by Cristian Mungiu (2007) © Wild Bunch Distribution California Dreamin’ by Cristian Nemescu (2007) © Temple Film 48 .

through black and white flashbacks to Doiaru’s traumatic childhood experiences during and just after the second world war. A sadly premature end. BALKAN CINEMAS 49 . Nemescu offers us an entertaining. railway station master and corrupt local overlord. Captain Doug Jones tells his troops to “sit back and enjoy the ride”. and soon the entire population of Căpâlniţa is in a state of excitement. fortunately here the result is neither too heavy-handed nor overly simplistic. after Doiaru. All does not go to plan though when they find themselves stuck in the small town of Căpâlniţa. en route to Kosovo. protesting factory workers desperate to make their voices heard. News of the arrival spreads quickly.involving. if at times rather exaggeratedly eccentric. It’s funny that you come now”). thanks to subtly ambiguous performances from the likes of Armand Assante and well-established Romanian actor Razvan Vasilescu. A group of American NATO soldiers are transporting top-secret military equipment through Romania.nobody emerges as moral victor. amongst other things. and the main characters are far from one-dimensional figures. an orgy and an angry mob . a bomb explosion. The film expresses a criticism of US foreign policy which is given a historical dimension. Exploiting the interactions between the stranded troops and the local community to full comic effect. Constantly moving between multiple plot threads. view of provincial Romanian life. The most clichéd of narrative devices this may be. a blackout. we are introduced to an ambitious town mayor keen to attract business. Ceauşescu. As the different plotlines collide in a dizzying and violent final climax . the Russians.unfortunately also his last. and local girls simply excited at the prospect of young American soldiers… Part of the so-called “New Wave” generation of young Romanian directors. “I wait for the Americans to come…to save us from the Germans. refuses them passage without official customs papers. JUDE LISTER BALKAN IDENTITIES. as he was tragically killed in a car accident just a few months after finishing editing. Anticipating an easy mission. ROMANIA CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ May 1999. explaining thus his real motivations (as Doiaru tells the Captain. As the camera flits between different characters. A welcome central focus is also provided by an endearingly awkward love triangle involving Doiaru’s wayward teenage daughter. California Dreamin’ is rich in detail and scattered with slightly surreal moments (watch out for a brief but delightfully funny adolescent-lust dream sequence). the US sergeant and the sensitive class geek. Cristian Nemescu has produced an accomplished debut feature .CRISTIAN NEMESCU. There is however more than enough drama to prevent the story from falling into simple parody. to a very promising beginning.

An overview of tHe (new)1 CROATIAN CINEMA

Like all young cinema industries, the Croatian one (Croatia obtained its independence in 1991) has had little time to develop and to create a distinct identity of its own. The very small number of films made within the past 15 years - around 90 in total, approximately 6 per year - is thus quite understandable, as is their varied quality.2 There were many factors which hindered the process of creating an established film industry, some of which are still valid today. Probably the most important of these factors was the war fought against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and the subsequent political changes involved in the fall of Yugoslavia (i.e. the transition from socialist to democratic state). All of this prevented the setting up of continuous film production with a firmly established regulatory system, and unfortunately there is still a lot of work to do in that area. Nevertheless, before gaining its independence, Croatia already had a long and important history in filmmaking as a part of the former Yugoslavia. This certainly gave a good starting point, but it was also something of a burden for future filmmakers. It is understandable then that filmmakers, when faced with the new reality that was laid before them during the first few years of the new Croatia, chose the important changes their society was going through as the dominant themes for their films. Indeed, there are very few films made in the last 15 years which do not (directly or indirectly) deal with either the above mentioned war, the Yugoslav way of life which existed before it, or its aftermath, the Croatian nation and its newly established state. The treatment of these subjects of course varied over the years, often depending on the current political situation in the country.

Even during the hardest years of the war, film production survived, and there were several films made (or perhaps more accurately, finished, as for most of them production had already begun before the war). They were small productions, without big international or even national success amongst the general public and the critical press. From their titles we can easily conclude
1 For the purposes of this article, ‘new’ will refer to Croatian cinema after 1991. 2 Before going any further, it is perhaps necessary to point out that this article will only be referring to full-length feature films produced in Croatia, and will exclude shorts, documentaries, animations and experimental films 50

what they were about, just to mention a few; Zlatne godine (‘Golden years’), Isprani (‘Washed out’), Priča iz Hrvatske (‘The Story from Croatia’), Hrvatske katedrale (‘Croatian Cathedrals’), Vukovar se vraća kući (‘Vukovar: The Way Home’)… They were mainly either very dark, uninventive war stories - frequently with a strong national perspective - or nostalgic, patriotic melodramas. In both cases they often had poorly formed stories and characters. In 1994 however, there was an exception to all of this, if only in terms of the money which was invested – a big international English-language production was shot in Croatia. It was Gospa (‘Our Lady’), by Jakov Sedlar. Apart from the title, the film had nothing to do with religion, but instead depicted a black and white view of the communist era. It was a view which corresponded to that of the government in charge at the time. The same author would go on to shoot two other similar productions throughout the following years. It was during this same period that many new and/or young filmmakers (e.g. Nola, Žmegač, Ogresta) emerged who would later deliver more important works, whereas the older generation of directors who had already been working during Yugoslav times, although still active, were to become less and less engaged (Berković, Babaja, Papić). It is perhaps in this era that the widespread negative attitude towards homemade Croatian films was born. This common view can be summarised in the sentence: ‘They’re boring and all about war.’ This statement would fortunately be proven wrong, at least partly, in the years to come.

In 1996 something happened that finally shook up Croatian cinematography, bringing viewers back to see domestic films and obtaining international recognition at the same time. It was the first war comedy – Kako je počeo rat na mom otoku (‘How the War Started on My Island’) from director Vinko Brešan, which was an absolute hit. Just like his second film Maršal (‘Marshal Tito’s Spirit’), it had a well-constructed and intriguing story (involving a conflict between the Yugoslav Army and a group of villagers at the time of the Yugoslav break-up), colourful characters with memorable quotes and an island setting. The plot of Maršal, on the other hand, was built around the controversial premise of the spirit of the former head of state, Tito, coming back to life in a small Croatian village… The same year as Maršal (2000), another successful film was launched which used humour of a very different type: Blagajnica hoće ići na more (‘The Cashier Wants to Go to the Seaside’). It was the debut of one of the most prominent young directors in Croatia, Dalibor Matanić. The film was a critical examination of the transitional period in Croatia, but again also a comedy (although with a central female character this time). Two years previously, director Snježana Tribuson had managed to completely avoid the war period in her acclaimed romantic comedy Tri muškarca Melite Žganjer (‘The Three Men of Melita Žganjer’).



There were a number of equally inspiring movies of an entirely different genre - drama produced after the war. Also made by young directors, in many ways these films differed from the war period dramas, although, again, many of them dealt with war and post-war themes. Amongst them there were films like Mondo Bobo by Goran Rušinović (1997), Nebo, sateliti (‘The Sky, the Satellites’, 2000) and Sami (‘Alone’) by Lukas Nola (2001). These productions were labelled by some as ‘art movies’, because they managed to develop specific, atmospheric environments and powerful visual images which raised them above the other, more averagelooking films of the same period. In their non-conventional style and aesthetics they were closer to the independent European film scene, proving that Croatia hadn’t lost touch with contemporary art movements from abroad.

Marshal Tito’s Spirit by Vink Bresan (1999) © Interfilm

As quite frequently in Croatia many of the films produced never even reach home theatres but are screened only at specialised festivals for Croatian films (e.g. the ‘Pula film festival’ or the ‘Dani hrvatskog filma’), and very few reach the international market (even those that do rarely make it into film theatres, and if they do, it is always only in neighbouring countries), these


Since Croatian national television has always played an important role in the production of new films (a position many want and have been trying to change). (‘What Iva Recorded on October 21st. In his second film Oprosti za kung fu (‘Sorry for Kung Fu’). The latter is the first regional co-production involving all of the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Što je Iva snimila 21. BALKAN CINEMAS 53 . the past two years have been marked again by comedies with eccentric and lively characters. of course. while the other was set during WWII (and therefore could not avoid having a political dimension). Both were large-scale productions with epic narratives set in the past. listopada 2003. Two of the latest films produced in Croatia are based on books written by the same author: Ante Tomić. It was a gallery of characters often used in Croatian film. Ognjen Sviličić (also Radić’s co-writer on ‘What Iva recorded…’) brought to the surface the issue of cultural differences in the new Croatian democracy. Jurić and Nuić. a drama based on a novel which. the most discussed) are perhaps Konjanik (‘Horseman’) in 2003 and Duga mračna noć (‘Long Dark Night’) in 2004 by the veteran directors Ivanda and Vrdoljak. always taking them as his main characters . focussing on characters such as junkies. frequently offering an ironic view of the ‘nouveaux riches’ in Croatia (and. leaving the wars behind). The most famous of all (and. there were a few omnibus stories in which the upshots of the war and transition could be seen. In 2005. piće i krvoproliće (‘Sex. The film is constructed from a young girl’s point of view as she films the birthday party celebration her parents have organised for her. all of them were dramas. a successful debut by Ostojić called Ta divna splitska noć (‘A Wonderful Night in Split’). 2003’) was shot by Tomislav Radić. In 2003. and Sex. many of the films produced have been subsequently transformed into television series. Amongst the films which dealt with more recent history. Boose and Short Fuse’) by Matić. both in terms of the number of films made and their popularity. Matanić would in his later films deal with other marginalized segments of society. Što je muškarac bez brkova? (‘What’s a Man Without a Moustache?’) and Karaula (‘Border Post’) were made respectively by well-known directors Hribar and Grlić.few past years have shown a growing trend for national film productions. criminals. In the year 2002. who was already known for using elements of ‘cinéma verité’ in his features. portrayed Croats committing a crime upon a Serbian family. Fine mrtve djevojke (‘Fine Dead Girls’) was shot by Matanić. focusing this time on a young mother carrying a child by a Chinese father. finally. ex-soldiers or generally people without ambition for the future.for example a mute painter (in the biography of Slava Raškaj) and a young yuppie (a subculture that is only now emerging in Croatia) who gets infected with AIDS in Volim te (‘I Love You’). since they would all become an important segment of society as of the 1990s. a drama (which develops into a tragedy) intended to demonstrate the homophobia existing within the new Croat society by taking a lesbian couple as its focus. These were Tu (‘Here’) by Ogresta. director Brešan shot his third movie Svjedoci (‘Witnesses’). Whilst the former years of the new Croatian film era were often dedicated to dramas. for the first time. One dealt with the battles of the Turkish Empire. viewed by many as an attempt to ‘rebuild’ something which no longer exists (approved of by those who BALKAN IDENTITIES. Made between 2003 and 2004.

Karaula by Rajko Grlic (2006) © Propeler Film

see it as a logical step towards broadening the market for films, but criticised by others). The film follows the lives of soldiers in a Yugoslav army garrison and ends with brutal killings, a narrative which acts as a kind of mirror reflection of the violent war in Yugoslavia which would actually occur some years later. The process of reunification on this level is certainly something which will mark the future of the Croatian film industry (and of course other film industries of former Yugoslavian countries), which has finally started to recover - just like the country itself after the transformations which it underwent in the 1990s. This can be seen not only in the number of films produced and sums of money invested in them but also in their quality, both from the critics’ and the audiences’ points of view. BiBliographY Škrabalo, Ivo: 101 godina filma u Hrvatskoj 1896. – 1997, Nakladni zavod Globus, Zagreb, 1998. Turković, Hrvoje i Majcen, Vjekoslav: Hrvatska kinematografija, Ministarstvo kulture Republike Hrvatske, Zagreb, 2003. www.film.hr



Fifteen years ago (on the 1st of March of 1992) Bosnia and Herzegovina stopped being part of the SFRY - The Socialist and Federative Republic of Yugoslavia - and was recognized by the United Nations as an independent republic. This review of the cinematographic production of Bosnia and Herzegovina will thus attempt to look at the past fifteen years in order to summarise what has been achieved. It can be said that a lot has already been done, unfortunately not in terms of quantity, but at least in terms of quality. Indeed, it is hard to believe that such a small country, destroyed by war and with so many internal socio-economic and political problems, has accomplished so much in such a short period of time. Let us not forget that during the first year of its independence, Bosnia and Herzegovina was too much of a battlefield to be capable of film production, thus delaying even further the development of a national cinema industry. But now, an Oscar, a Golden Bear, a Leopard, a Felix, awards in New York, Kiev, Toronto… let us take a step back and take a look at how it all happened.

During the war, film production was almost non-existent, although not entirely. SaGa (the production group which gathered together most of the remaining directors in Sarajevo along with their respective students from the Academy) managed to produce a few documentaries, the most important of which was Covjek, Bog, Monstrum (‘Man, God, Monster’), which won the European Film Academy award (on hearing the news, its four creators were sitting in a basement in a bombed Sarajevo, toasting with what little beer someone might have managed to find). Still, the films which SaGa succeeded in producing were more an attempt to survive psychologically than real film productions. The crucial year for Bosnian Cinematography was actually 1997. That was the year when Savrseni Krug (‘Perfect Circle’), directed by Ademir Kenovic, came out. It is irrelevant to say that Bosnia gave a very low percentage of money for the film in terms of production, as this is more than understandable given the circumstances. Savrseni Krug, written by Kenovic himself together with Abdulah Sidran (once Kusturica’s co-writer for Do You Remember Dolly Bell? and When Father was Away on Business), was well received by national audiences.



The story is about a poet whose family has managed to escape the siege and who, one day, finds two refugee children in his apartment. He cannot take care of them, as he is incapable of even taking care of himself, but on the other hand he can neither throw them out nor abandon them. To make everything even more tragic, one of the boys is deaf. With an extraordinary performance by Mustafa Nadarevic in the role of the poet, the film passed its most difficult test: it was shown in Sarajevo, not even a year and a half after the siege had ended. Audiences at the time were very sensitive. More than the quality of the film itself, which was of course examined by numerous colleagues of Kenovic, the audience were concerned with its truthfulness. They wanted to be able to say: “Yes, this is how it was”. That might be the reason why few are aware of the success that the film has obtained at foreign festivals, which has given Kenovic an important position at the forefront of European cinematography.

Beautiful People by Jasmin Dizdar (1999) © Positif

For the next Bosnian long feature we had to wait until the year 2000. In the meantime, whilst struggling with all possible kinds of economic crises, Bosnia and Sarajevo gave birth to the Sarajevo Film Festival. The event, which celebrated its 6th anniversary in the summer of 2000, is still constantly expanding and growing in importance today, attracting guests such as John Malkovich, Alfonso Cuaron, Steve Buscemi and Mike Leigh. Despite being very small, and in spite of the fact that organisers were never sure if the next SFF would have enough funding to


Danis Tanovic won an Oscar and more than 40 other very important awards worldwide for his first feature: No Man’s Land (‘Nicija Zemlja’). means of support and (the non-existence of ) funding for auteurs and their films. Nobody has ever managed to understand how the money was found to make both films. and which had a much wider success with popular audiences). and the story rather weak. This paternal aspect culminated a couple of years ago in a project which SFF developed with the guidance of the Rotterdam Film Festival. Jump’. and aimed at the lowest demanding audiences. moving. and an overall amateur approach. among other accolades. BALKAN IDENTITIES. two films saw the light of the day: Tunel (‘Tunnel’) and Mlijecni put (‘Milky Way’) . The dialogue in the film was shallow. Two wonderful short films must also be mentioned. and get back to the subject of Bosnian Cinematography. Sokolovic and his wife would have done better to use the footage for their equally trashy TV series Visa for the Future (which they began producing in 2004. left Sarajevo in 1989. BALKAN CINEMAS 57 . Unfortunately however it cannot be called Bosnian. Tunel was supposed to be a drama but ended up as a badly-told war story full of exaggerated performances. funny and smart. A brilliant film . 10 Minutes was directed by Ahmed Imamovic and written by Vuletic. before anyone could have even dreamt of the possibility of a war.both produced and directed by Faruk Sokolovic. Extremely poor. In 2000. but succeeded in provoking laughter only because of how trashy it was.lovely. The film tells the parallel and loosely connected stories of several Bosnian refugees in London. The first. I would really like to underline the importance of one film which came out in 1999 and won the ‘Un Certain Regard’ Award in Cannes. Jasmin Dizdar. The SFF does not just offer the best art films and blockbusters of the current global market. they did not obtain too much success. including the Panorama New York Film Festival Award at the Berlinale. It was called ‘CineLink’. and was concerned with the development of a co-production market for filmmakers within the region. and why they were released in the same year. it has provided something that Bosnia desperately needed: a feeling that at least in one domain it is marching alongside the rest of the world. ALONG CAME THE OSCAR As a measure of quality.take place. the value of an Oscar may be at times debatable. Skip. Troskok (‘Hop. But let us leave the Sarajevo Film Festival. however it is by far the most important and influential of awards. a young director from Sarajevo who studied at FAMU in Prague. and the English people whose lives they influence. but above all continually raises questions about national production. Trashy. 2000) gained awards worldwide. Before discussing the big moment when the world became acquainted with the face and the work of a young Bosnian called Danis Tanovic. what was on the contrary much more clear was that the quality of the films was poor. However. Milky Way was a comedy. which requires in depth discussion in its own right. The second one. This one-sequence film was awarded the EFA Felix for Best European Short. I am talking about Beautiful People by Jasmin Dizdar. doubtful ideology.

There are exceptional supporting roles and an amazing script. This obviously did not harm the film. Nicija Zemlja was created in line with the sensitivities of western audiences. complete with a ‘nice’ ending. mainly weak performances and dialogue which is often rather shallow and relies too much on low-brow humour.It came out in 2001. the main actor. and had no legal ownership over it. Bosnia felt like it had won the lottery. production methods and level of success. and the leading song became a sort of national anthem for months.. and had found such difficulty in finding funding. that whatever the end result it was a pleasure to see these projects finally realised. Remake on the other hand differs from both films. 2003 thus turned out to be a very rich year for Bosnian films. However. Some scenes were not entirely truthful in their construction. the director. The Fund for Cinematography was established. powerful hip-hop. but it was far from a masterpiece. Here Mustafic proves himself to be a talented director. long awaited productions were released: Gori vatra (‘Fuse’) directed by Pjer Zalica. aimed to appeal to a wide audience. were made by Refresh Productions under the guidance of Ademir Kenovic. Despite being a national success. and the performances of the actors were sometimes rather weak. In my opinion the best effect of Danis’ Oscar win is the fact that Bosnian politicians finally reacted. since it is quickly forgotten. And so it was. Unfortunately. the story… No Man’s Land was in fact an American-style production. Of course the Oscar. it was for Bosnia. Three big. As the process of reintegration began. hyped up further by the ‘Leopard’ which Zalica won in Locarno. 58 . but it is overall a weak film. A powerful soundtrack accompanied the film. Ljeto u Zlatnoj Dolini (‘Summer In the Golden Valley’) and Remake by Dino Mustfic. the World War II story ends up being rather irrelevant. the language. which told the story of a small Bosnian village that was divided during the war. Fuse was the biggest national success. the film suffers from some very strong weaknesses. It may offend many Bosnians to say so. Bill Clinton. Everything in it was Bosnian. All were very different from each other in their narratives. innovative in its cinematography and direction (Vuletic won a Tiger Award at Rotterdam). but the Oscar was awarded in 2002. especially because of his excellent casting and good dramaturgy (until this film he had only worked in theatre). and began helping Bosnian filmmakers to raise funding. but not outstanding. It is set both in the present and in the past. Summer Is the Golden Valley is a city story. the village was expecting a visit from the American president. It was good. Both Fuse and Summer Is. it was an inherently Bosnian film. the film drowns in the amateurish performances of the (non-professional) main actors. Although the country had not given any funding towards No Man’s Land. All three above-mentioned young directors had been working on their projects for such a long time. as it tells the parallel stories of a father (during the Second World War) and his son (during the recent Bosnian War). and above all in its desire to be an American gangster movie with ‘a Bosnian flavour’. “This is for my country. Its musical score on the contrary is more than appropriate for the youth of today: good. reinforced later by a ‘Felix’ and a ‘Bear’ gave an amazing emotional push to this new enterprise.. for Bosnia and Herzegovina” was what Danis said in his acceptance speech at the ceremony.

BALKAN CINEMAS 59 . and they are gay. In 2005 the Sarajevo Film Festival had the pleasure of hosting the world premieres of two new Bosnian films: the first feature by Ahmed Imam Vic. A gay love story between a Bosnian Serb (Milan) and a Bosnian Muslim (Kenan) at the beginning of the war in Sarajevo. with a catchy score and a hit song at the very end of the film. and the film delivered on many levels: principally with a good strong script (co-written with Enver Puska) and witty. they find shelter in Milan’s orthodox village where Kenan is forced to dress up as a woman to save both of their lives. Zalica had played the same card as before. The film was only saved by the supremely talented performances from Mustafa Andrei. Samoa Sociologic and Send Basic. just one film came out . The film was very well received by audiences and soon became a hit. There were high expectations of Ahmed Imamovic’s debut. Summer in the Golden Valley by Srdjan Vuletic (2003) © Refresh Production Go West is very close to being a masterpiece. Furthermore. imaginative direction .In 2004. Zalica had taken advantage of his opportunities. it was not nearly as effective. In order to escape the tragic events around them. Go West and Dobra dustman privacy (‘Well Tuned Corpses’) by older director Benjamin Filipovic . and the result was mediocre. but the story was almost non-existent. but this was nowhere near to the euphoria provoked by Fuse. In this film. allegorical. making his second film as soon as he could.who had made his first film before the war.some scenes are fabulous. and extremely powerful BALKAN IDENTITIES. The three main characters were interpreted by three brilliant actors. He is a Muslim in an Orthodox Serb village.Kod Amidze Idriza (‘At Uncle Idriza’s’) directed by Pjer Zalica.

Go West was much talked about. Fortunately. primitive and naïve. including at the New York Film Festival and in Montpellier. Grbavica by Jasmila Zbanic (2006) © Coop99 60 .visually. There is just one small problem with Go West. Filipovic managed to make an unpretentious. trashy. Not a film one would still be thinking about more than an hour after having seen it. and then imagine putting that delicate and refined canvas into a kitsch frame. that the whole story was framed within an interview given to Jeanne Moreau. Benjamin Filipovic died last year due to a heart attack. both from the three main religious Headquarters and from narrow-minded politicians. Imagine a wonderful painting. interact and finally are brought together by a couple of strange corpses. enjoyable film. Go West proved itself to be bigger than the pettyminded people that wanted to defeat it . Four stories. Well Tuned Corpses was not. although the story and the directing were neither particularly innovative nor intelligent. but not to the point of patronising audiences. It was a good Bosnian popcorn movie. Unfortunately. After the war Bosnia and Herzegovina was clearly degraded in terms of culture.it won many prizes. and Go West suffered all kinds of criticism. While Go West was sensitive to the controversy surrounding it. rather superficial. who plays a Dutch journalist. Far from being stupid. but definitely the kind of production that Bosnia has been lacking.

which tells the story of an ordinary old couple playing cards and going about their everyday lives. at the time nobody really believed that she would succeed. In brief. Esma. Nebo iznad krajolika (‘Skies Above the Landscape’) is a delicious. the Bosnian film industry seems to be doing very well. Young female director Jasmila Zbanic finally concluded Grbavica (‘Esma’s Secret’) . In fact. heartfelt comedy about an employee of the French Embassy in Sarajevo. But she did. The story is about a woman. Awards are good. directed by Nenad Djuric. As Zbanic had taken such a long time in production. Of course. Furthermore. The second is a lovely sixty-minute indoor drama. has just started its journey through the festivals. not only did she simply manage to make the film. Mama I Tata (‘Mum’n’Dad’) made by Faruk Loncarevic. whose young daughter wants to go on a school excursion. is well-structured. Esma does not have the money to pay for it. In terms of quality. the emotional power of which overwhelms the spectator. is a collection of stories about a chain of characters (both during and after the war) who all believe in ‘the Miracle of Sarajevo’ The film has seen a mixed response from domestic audiences. but nobody could deny the bravura of this young female director. awards are not always a guarantee of quality. BALKAN IDENTITIES. but has nevertheless managed to be screened at various film festivals. who ends up falling in love with a paragliding instructor somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the Bosnian mountains. but what Bosnian cinema needs right now are more developed structures in order to increase the rate of production. but the daughter thinks that they do not need the money because she believes that her father was a war hero (the children of war heroes do not need to pay). The film. the money which has been invested so far has been well recompensed. BALKAN CINEMAS 61 . This little film. Jasmila was forced to cut some scenes to suit the festivals and the international producer. However. well-acted. a young girl. It seems that some emotions have not been expressed fully. amusing and unpretentious. Deborah.a project she had been working on for six years. breaking a leg on the shoot). but it is certain that very few of these films can be described as poor. International success will not wane if more films are made. The third. on the contrary. Almost every film that has been made so far (and the number is lower than 15) has won awards. but with it she won the ‘Golden Bear’ at the Berlinale. but to the country as a whole. in my opinion. firstly of course struggling with financial obstacles and then a series of misfortunes which occurred during the shooting (like the main actress.2006 was again a big year for Bosnian cinema. these films have brought satisfaction not only to the producers and the writers. The first. She managed to show violence without a single violent scene. She managed to make an extraordinary film. This is where Esma’s dark secret comes in… Grbavica provoked intense debate within the country and aroused a lot of controversy. Three other films have emerged recently from the Bosnian film industry. Nafaka (‘Nafaka-Luck’) directed by Jasmin Durakovic.

twisted characters. which he made after having won the EFA Best Short Award for Ten Minutes. is a Bosnian Muslim). UNA GUNJAK 62 . It was a taboo in 1992. BoSniA & HerZeGovinA GO WEST Go West is the debut full-length long feature from Ahmed Imamovic. with Kenan disguised as a woman in order to hide his true identity. and it still is (although fortunately not to quite the same extent). The second negative point. almost a masterpiece. Will they last long enough to manage to ‘go west’? Will they be able to keep their secret in such conditions? Go West focuses on a very delicate subject. is that its brilliance was wasted on the narrow-minded mass audiences in Bosnia.AHMed iMAMoviC. however it seems that the circumstances are against them. they take refuge in Milan’s Orhodox Serbian village in the hills near Sarajevo. a gay love story. The story would not be so tragic if these two. played by Tarik Filipovic. Croats hate Muslims and Serbs. co-written with Enver Puska tells a love story between two men at the beginning of the war in Sarajevo. As Kenan points out at the beginning of the film: it may be that Serbs hate Muslims and Croats. played by Mario Drmac. the film provoked huge controversy. were not of different nationalities (Milan. With all due respect to the outstanding Madame Moreau. I am disappointed that the filmmakers felt it necessary to employ an international star in order (one supposes) to make a Bosnian film more appealing to international audiences. Both the director and his co-writer met with fierce attacks from the press. It is meant to be just a stopover for the couple. played by Jeanne Moreau. depraved lives… Milan is forced to join the army. although not an actual criticism of the film. Upon its release. the whole story being related by Kenan in a TV interview with a Dutch journalist. religious groups and certain individuals.a true Primadonna of the ex-Yugoslav cinema . for example the legless priest hanging on a rope) and masterful performances (from Rade Serbedzija. Go West. but they are all united in their hatred of homosexuals. already controversial lovers for those times. None of this however could change the fact that Go West is a very good film. The whole village seems like some kind of purgatory. and Muslims hate Serbs and Croats. nationalistic maniacs. emotionally involving story. There are only two negative things to be said about this film. whilst Kenan is left behind to agonise over the fate that has befallen the Bosnian Muslim population. It provides the viewer with a provocative. and in all the ex-Yugoslav countries. a strong visual experience (there are some marvellous shots. It seems to be a rather silly frame for such a beautiful canvas. Mirjana Karanovic . The first is that the core narrative is bundled up in completely useless gift-wrapping.and two amazing young actors in the leading roles. is a Bosnian Serb and Kenan. Trying to escape death and to flee the country to find peace in the West. Mario Drmac and Tarik Filipovic).

BALKAN CINEMAS 63 .Go West by Ahmed Imamovic (2005) © Comprex BALKAN IDENTITIES.

social and cultural) lasted for longer than in other former Yugoslav republics and perhaps only came to an end when both Serbia and Montenegro declared their respective independencies.”2 1 Dakovic N. Morgan-Tamosunas R. The ‘new Yugoslav’ cinema hesitated between a potential new Serbian (or Serbo-Montenegrean) identity and the old Yugoslav one. science fiction. p. […] It is a cinema that doesn’t settle for simply suggesting and evoking the social or even political aspects of the national situation. 2 “Semaine du Cinéma Yougoslave”. Strongly influenced by the events of the decade. Bruxelles (translation by the author). historical dramas… the war became the irrefutable reference for every genre. 2003b. Still officially Yugoslavia (or more accurately. Heidelberg. or FRY). the magnitude of political events dominated the cinematographic medium. (ed. 23-27 octobre 1970. but that tries to explain them and to denounce what’s going wrong.. THE IMPACT OF REALITy “Concern with recent history. European Cinema: Inside Out.FROM yUGOSLAV TO SERBIAN CINEMA 1991-2001: THEMES AND CHARACTERISTICS OF A CINEMA INDUSTRy IN TRANSITION MARíA PALACIOS CRUZ While in the 1990s other former Yugoslav republics such as Croatia. […] Yugoslav cinema tackles the present and it does so with an unprecedented lucidity and vigour. the country’s film industry appeared to be the natural heir of the former Socialist Yugoslav cinema. It was a decade marked by the rise of Serbian orthodox nationalism as well as by currents of Yugo-nostalgia. Théâtre du Parvis.. a decade of war. Yet. the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. devastating wars. ethnic cleansing and balkanisation became the main thematic obsession of Yugoslav cinema at the end of the last century. Slovenia and Macedonia were already building their new national cinematographic identities practically from scratch. embargo and international isolation. Universitatsverlag. The post-Yugoslav transition in Serbia (in all aspects . This article is intended to be an examination of the themes evoked by Yugoslav cinema of the 1990s. “Yugoslav cinema is the most political of all Socialist cinemas.political. Comedies. As Marcel Martin wrote in 1970. 64 . inflation. this was nothing new for Yugoslav cinema.”1 During the 1990s. 245.). the films from this period (1991-2001) are perhaps the best testimony of those terrible years. “Remembrance of the things past : Emir Kusturica’s Underground (1995)”. in Rings G. things in Serbia and Montenegro were much more complex.

Another known Belgrade director. Especially for Pretty village.arte-tv. and that films must be made straight away. Srdjan Dragojević.Pretty Village. 4 Discussion with the author. and what truly interested him was the people and not the politics3. historical hindsight carried political associations. However. explained at the time of the filming of Rat uživo (‘War Live’. 1997). For him. Of course not. from today’s perspective. Even when the war was more directly concerned. the lack of distance. In order to face reality.” 4 At the time. that he didn’t feel that hindsight was necessary in order to examine historic events. And it did hurt the film a lot. the Yugoslav cinema of this period made use of other genres. so I never thought of historical distance. whilst he didn’t dispose of the historical distance that these films needed. 1996) and Rane (‘The Wounds’.. BALKAN CINEMAS 65 . author of both Crni bombarder (‘Black Bombarder’. [Lepa sela lepo gore]. 1992) and Balkanska pravila (‘Balkan Rules’. right after the 1999 NATO strikes in Belgrade. But it was understandable. Pretty Flame’. human tragedy always remained at the very centre.htm. we were really mad. a Serbian Fascist film. Some of the festivals refused to screen the film because of that. this did not occur. Many filmmakers embraced the 3 ARTE archives : http://archives. BALKAN IDENTITIES.. In Venice they said it was a Fascist film. admitted that when he made Lepa sela lepo gore (‘Pretty Village. the need to make them was always far more important : “I had the urge to make these films. Some of the reviews were bad because of that. there were many reasons to fear that filmic representations of the war would present a black and white Manichean discourse of ‘good’ Serbs against ‘evil’ Croats or Muslims. Pretty Flame by Srdjan Dragojević (1996) © Positif Darko Bajic. 2000). such as comedy and melodrama. 1998) in the 1990s.com/cinema/yougoslavie/ftext/menu. At the time.

Oleg Novković. the film was accused of being a piece of Serbian propaganda.. historical dramas and urban films. Ironically. Derman D. Pretty Flame’. 6 Dakovic N. Živojin Pavlović. a kind of hybrid of a war film and an urban one. 1994). In his hospital bed.. the war influenced Yugoslav films from the very beginning of hostilities : “Fiction came right after the true events. This became the main position supported by Yugoslav filmmakers . Milan (Dragan Bjelogrlić). in Ross K. 1997). Gordana Boškov. New Jersey. Vukovar’s fires were not yet extinguished and this baroque city on the shores of the Danube hadalready become the cinematographic symbol of endless destruction”. “La guerre sur grand écran : filmographie de l’éclatement yougoslave”. 66 .5 If we take the relationship to the reality of the 1990s as a classifying criterion. and the guilty parties were many: whether it be the political class. www.eu. the spectator witnesses this woman’s intense suffering. The latter was probably the one that received the greatest international attention.the war was a tragedy for all involved. we can identify four main categories of Yugoslav productions made between 1991 and 2001: war films. 1992). Le Courrier des Balkans.thesis of the war as a Balkan curse and of the Balkans as a powder keg ready to explode every fifty years. Boro Drašković. The Croatian war was also at the heart of the narrative in Budjenje proleca (‘Flashback’. Pretty Flames : Conflicting Identities”. 1996). recalls the ten hellish days he’s just spent with his regiment. This is a good example of the complexity of war movies at the time. “Pretty Village. who’s left alone in Vukovar when her husband Toma.6 The Croatian war was the subject of Dezerter (‘The Deserter’. With Toma gone. Ana (played by Mirjana Jokovic).). the film is told from the point of view of a Croatian. balkans. 2004. escapism.org. of the incapacity to return to a normal life and the impossibility of leaving behind war memories. Draskovic’s perspective was double. Alongside his memories of the war itself. those of his childhood friendship with Muslim Halil (Nikola Pejaković) invade his 5 Dakovic N. or forgetting those we’ve killed. Kaži zašto me ostavi (‘Why Have You Left Me’. when she is savagely and repeatedly raped by Serbian mercenaries. and even though one would tend to associate Yugoslav cinema with images of war. Srdjan Dragojević. Mapping the Margins. certainly neither Manichean nor Serbian fascist propaganda. a Bosnian Serb. WAR FILMS Strangely enough. However. 1993) and Vukovar – jedna priča (‘Vukovar: The Way Home’.. a Serbian. It spoke of the aftermath of war. A Romeo and Juliet style love story set in the devastated city of Vukovar. just like that of the ordinary people of Belgrade. The subject of the Bosnian war brought the most important film of the decade: Lepa sela lepo gore (‘Pretty Village. 2003a. (dir. those that are forever gone. blocked by the enemy (a group of Muslim paramilitaries) in a tunnel. is called to join the army and to attack his own home town. very few films of this period spoke directly of the conflict. the war profiteers or simple fate.

Mi nismo andjeli (‘We Are Not Angels’. from the point of view of those who waited in fear rather than those who fought actively. BALKAN CINEMAS 67 . ESCAPIST FILMS Escapist films are those which intend to remove the spectator from his everyday worries and to help him escape from the circumstances that surround him (particularly when these circumstances are difficult ones). Dragoslav Lazić. the ‘Brotherhood and Unity’ tunnel meant for a highway that would never be built. as the battle goes on around them. However. but simply entertaining films. The war such films evoke is a passive war. Djordje Milošavljević. The films ends with the two of them wondering who they are and who they should hate. as Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo illustrates. as the 1999 war was always filmed passively. As we have seen. the war came into the city and the ‘war film’ and ‘urban film’ categories began to overlap. Srdjan Dragojević. such as the thriller in Točkovi (‘Wheels’. Nož is the epic story of Ilija Jugović. 1994) . Miroslav Lekić. 1994) . Milan and Halil used to play in that very same tunnel. Milan Jelić. The Bosnian war was also the subject of Nož (‘The Dagger’. 1995) . When discussing escapist films within the Yugoslav context of the 1990s. Escapist comedies proliferated during the 1990s : Policajac sa Petlovog Brda (‘The Policeman from Cock’s Hill’. Most of these films belong to what we have established as the ‘urban film’ category. Treca sreca (‘Lucky Three’. 1992) . Slatko od snova (‘Sweet Dreams’.thoughts. 1999). which diverted attention away from the turmoil of the political scene. 1998) and Munje (‘Thunderbirds’. the number of Yugoslav films devoted to the ‘spectacular’ aspect of war was rather limited. 1992) . Alija/Ilija grows up unaware of his true identity. the city (usually Belgrade). Yugoslav films preferred to focus on the war’s rear-guard. 1996) . we shall include the films related to the 1999 NATO strikes in the ‘urban film’ category. Velika frka (‘The Big Mess’. misunderstanding and expectancy. In the 1990s they find themselves fighting on opposite sides. Zoran Čalić. Radivoje Andrić. Milan Živković. 2001). we don’t mean productions which made the miserable population dream of luxury and glamour. which is lived in between fear. Bosnia and Kosovo). who was kidnapped by a Muslim family (the Osmans) when he was just a baby and renamed Alija. 1998) and Tesna BALKAN IDENTITIES. With the 1999 bombings. until the day he finds out that the Osmans are in fact an Islamised branch of the Jugović family. Croatia. When speaking of the different conflicts of the 1990s (Slovenia. and discover that the friendship they believed to be unbreakable is easily overwhelmed by the absurdity and craziness of war. Dovidjenja u Čikagu (‘Goodbye in Chicago’. an adaptation from a novel by Vuk Drašković which was at the time the most expensive Serbian production in history. Mihailo Vukobratović. During the Bosnian war he meets his ‘brother’ who has been brought up in a strongly anti-Islamist environment. 1992) . Tri palme za dve bitange i ribicu (‘Three Palms for Two Punks and a Babe’. Other escapist genres were also explored. Bice bolje (‘Getting Better’. Vladimir Živković. The America of the Great Depression is a good example of a society where such films have flourished. Radivoje Andrić.

Zoran Čalić. Jevreji dolaze. when he delivered the brutally desperate Bure Baruta (‘Powder Keg’). White Cat by Emir Kusturica (1998) © Positif 68 . Darko Mitrevski and Aleksandar Popovski. yet they are the ones who decide people’s destinies.the film’s vampires are very hard to tell from true humans. Jevreji dolaze (‘The Jews Are Coming’. myth-making. This was the case with Pun mesec nad Beogradom (‘Full Moon Over Belgrade’. like Goran Paskaljevic. 1992) . Tri karte za Holivud (‘Three Tickets to Hollywood’. Dragan Kresoja’s film was a vampire story set in Belgrade right at the beginning of the war. Dragan Kresoja. 1991). he had produced two stories exemplary of his usual characteristic humanism: Tango argentino (1992) and Someone’s Else’s America (1996). A fantasy film on the surface. Svemirci su krivi za sve (‘Aliens are to Be Blamed for Everything’. Milan Živković. 1991). Svemirci su krivi za sve and Tri karte za Holivud are comedies which may be read as parables of the great Balkan sins : ideological divisions. corruption. Of course. 1993) . In the meantime. White Cat’) also deserves a mention within this category. Darko Bajić. In spite of his strong political commitment. Božidar Nikolić. 1993) .Koza 4 (‘Skin Tight 4’. certain genre films not only intended to entertain but also hid an allegorical meaning. crime and lust for power. others refused to face the reality of the war. Before this. Kusturica’s 1998 film Crna mačka beli mačor (‘Black Cat. Crni Bombarder (‘Black Bombarder’. 1999). and science-fiction in Zbogom dvadeseti vek (‘Goodbye 20th Century’. Prvoslav Marić. manipulation of the past. it also contains a strong political subtext . Paskaljevic did not feel ready to speak of the state of Serbian (and Yugoslav) society until 1998. as it incorporated no references whatsoever to the history of the country or to any of the secession Black Cat. megalomania. 1992) .

BALKAN CINEMAS 69 . J. on the one side. Yugoslav filmmakers felt a strong need to understand their recent past in order to be able to move on. Pretty Flame. For Igor Krstić. p. March2002. March 2002. it is channelled more into the set design than into the narrative structure or the plot. intending to provide new explanations for or make sense of the turbulent past. dir. This time. and not as a bloody civil war. nº 2 . have presupposed that the wars of the 1990s were a reincarnation of the unsolved conflicts and antagonisms of the past.”8 Those films which have chosen to turn to the past in order to explain.org). 1997). dir. Dragan Kresoja. 1991). nations need to face up to their past and to understand what has happened before being able to forget and move on. 1992). Yugoslav screen reflections of a turbulent decade. 1991). Denich : “Communist rule entailed ideological control over the representation of the past. for example those that divided the country during WWII. 2003b. 8 Dakovic N. Numerous films therefore focussed on the country’s Communist past : Originalna falsifikata (‘Original of the Forgery’. just like individuals. Goran Marković. except in the collective categories ‘victims of fascism’. p. Other Voices. unmasking Tito’s regime as a period of frustration and repression of national identities. 245. However. 10 Quoted by Igor Krstić. the victorious communist government imposed peace among the different ethnic groups.. According to the anthropologist B.. The regime wanted the war to be remembered as a glorious Partisan fight against Fascism. to Premeditated Murder (‘Ubistvo sa predumišljajem’ . Gorčin Stojanović. The Celluloid Tinderbox. 2000. BALKAN IDENTITIES. During the 1990s. (dir. “more than any other film made by Kusturica. on the other side”10. the film sees Kusturica reign in his ego and create a tightly controlled film which is not going to upset anyone. Darko Bajić. With this film Kusturica tried to counteract the effect of the controversy provoked earlier on by Underground (1995). Mala (‘The Little One’.). “the case of Yugoslavia raises the question of whether a society and its culture can become captured as an individual can by the burden of too much history”9. After WWII. ce-review. however. Socialism and self-management were reopened during the 1990s. narratives try to rephrase and ‘correct’ the past.wars. forcing them to erase their war memories in favour of the official version on events. “Re-thinking Serbia : A Psychoanalytic Reading of Modern Serbian History and Identity through Popular Culture”. Under communism. this is a film out for laughs.”7 HISTORICAL FILMS “From Underground to such films as Pretty Village. Pedrag Antonijević. or at least understand the present. vol. Central Europe Review (www. He does not abandon his love of the absurd. 2. Lasting a relatively long 130 minutes. 9 Krstic I. Unhealed wounds which had been buried under the ideals of brotherhood and unity. 41. and ‘foreign occupiers and domestic traitors’. Tito i ja (‘Tito And Me’. the atrocities of WWII became a taboo subject. Gorila se kupa u podne 7 Horton A. and those horrible events that would disrupt the new inter-ethnic cooperation were not to be mentioned. both of which are highly traditional. Thus. 1996) and Balkan Rules (‘Balkansa pravila’.

Disorder. always present . crime. 1996). Gorčin Stojanović. Tango je tužna misao koja se pleše (‘Tango is a Sad Thought to Be Danced’. 1994) . 1991). Ubistvo s predumišljajem (‘Premeditated Murder’. the last film to be made in the former Socialist Yugoslavia. Miroslav Lekić. 1999). Some are often regarded as war films . the cities in the rear-guard suffered the psychological and economic consequences of the conflict. 1997). These films presented a society in a state of crisis. Tri letnja dana (‘Three Summer Days’. Srdjan Karanović. were probably the best examples of the widespread insanity and malaise that reigned over the Belgrade of the 1990s. 1991) . This reinterpretation of the Titoist past was however not a phenomenon exclusive to the cinema of the 1990s. Gorčin Stojanović. Ni na nebu ni na zemlju (Miloš Radivojević. Bulevar Revolucije (‘The Boulevard of Revolution’. 1993) . Other examples : Stand by (Čeda Veselinović. Darko Bajić. filmed in the 1980s (originally intended as a TV series) and released as a feature in 1994. Dnevnik uvreda 1993 (‘Diary of Insults 1993’. Already in the 1980s (after Tito’s death and the disappearance of Partisan films as a cult genre) critical filmmakers had begun to uncover the lies of the past by focussing their attention on the civil war years. Terasa na krovu (‘Terrace on the Roof ’. 1995) . While the countryside was a battle-field. 1991) . Noč u kuči moje majke (‘A Night at my Mother’s House’. Gordan Mihić. 1985). Srdjan Dragojević). Underground (Emir Kusturica. 1994) . Stojan Stojčić. Examples include Virdžina (‘Virgina’. Povratak lopova (‘Thiefs’ Comeback’. URBAN FILMS This category includes the immense majority of Yugoslav films produced between 1991 and 2001. Seobe (‘Migrations’).(‘Gorilla Bathes At Noon’. and Aleksandar Petrovic’s last work. 1994) . Two films from 1998. Balkanska pravila (‘Balkan Rules’. Bure baruta (‘Powder Keg’. Marble Ass (Želimir Žilnik. Nečista krv (‘Whirlpool of Passion’. 1995) . Dragan Kresoja. Vladimir Blaževski. Miroslav Lekić.but the fighting itself was rarely visible onscreen. 1998) . Mirjana Vukomanović. 1997) . 1995) . But if in the 1980s what counted was the pursuit of truth. 1995) . thereby confirming the thesis of Balkan fatality and historical conditioning. Žarko Dragojević. 1995) . Mladomir ‘Puriša’ Djordjević. Dušan Makavejev. Slobodan- 70 . immorality and violence took over everything and everyone. 1997) . Otac na službenom putu (‘When Father Was Away on Business’. in the 1990s the aim of filmmakers was to identify the actual causes of the conflict… Some films of the 1990s chose to delve into an even more distant past. Ubistvo s predumišljajem (‘Premeditated Murder’. Nož (‘The Dagger’. Tamna je noc (‘Dark is the Night’. 1992) . Goran Paskaljević) and Rane (‘The Wounds’. Zdravko Šotra. Urnebesna tragedija (‘The Burlesque Tradedy’. 1995) . the Stalinist post-war period and the years following Tito’s break-up with Kominform in 1948. Goran Marković. Do koske (‘Rage’.the conflict being always there. Perhaps the best and most well known example from this period is Emir Kusturica’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner.

anxiety and expectancy of the characters. Dorcol-Menhetn (‘Belgrade – Manhattan’. what we find is a society which has reached its lowest point. Gorčin Stojanović. and thus Ana Sofrenović chooses a comfortable life in Italy over the true love of her husband. 2001) and Normalni ljudi (‘Normal People’. 2000) and Rat uživo (Darko Bajić. with the NATO strikes of 1999 a new subcategory was born. Love and Freedom’. but prefers to stand by the thesis of Balkan fatality. The directors responsible for the most important of these films now seem to have switched not only to other geographical but also to other thematic discussions”11. they could still go to Greece . By the year 2000. but at least they still had their basketball tournament. As previously mentioned. with Milosevic’s disappearance. it is only natural that Yugoslav films (now Serbian) should have begun to free themselves from the binds of the political reality. Isidora Bjelica. It is a passive war. the true embodiment of this frustrated generation. it was the story of a group of friends in Belgrade’s suburbs trying to rebuild their basketball field. and won’t until they decide to rebuild the basketball field. Indeed. they have nothing. (dir. Western forces were barely touched). 2001). A portrait of the 1990s generation. Nebojša Glogovac (Ubistvo s predumišljajem. In 2000 Dina Iordanova wrote : “Wrapping up the decade. this will always be the case in the Balkans). cinematographic representations immediately followed real events. Stršljen (‘The Hornet’.). Milutin Petrović. The enemy is invisible and once again. Nikola Kojo). practically unilateral (while the country was destroyed. Srdjan Golubović. 2001) . the previous year they hadn’t been able to go anywhere. Oleg Novković. Ljubiša Samardžić. 2001). who have never had a real job and for whom survival is already an amazing accomplishment. Once more. Now. He and his friends sum up the constant deterioration of their situation : ten years ago. War is portrayed here through the fear. but are simply condemned to tragedy. This was certainly the case for some of 11 Dina Iordanova in Horton A. BALKAN IDENTITIES. 1998) . ljubavi i slobode (‘Land of Truth. in the eyes of Yugoslav audiences. 2000. 1997) . and the apparent end of the cycle of struggles for independence in the region. a hybrid of the war film and the urban film. Apsolutnih sto (‘Absolute Hundred’. 2000) . After ten years of war. With a cast of well-loved local celebrities (Nebojša Glogovac. p. it is very likely that the year 2000 will mark the end of the series of films that dealt with the painful and traumatic Yugoslav break-up. Ljubiša Samardžić. a lost generation living within an equally lost society : 30-year-old teenagers who still live with their parents. five years ago. Others followed in 2000 and 2001 : Zemlja istine. they would spend their holidays in Croatia .J. Ana Sofrenovic. The only escape is exile (inevitably. 14. BALKAN CINEMAS 71 . Nataša (‘Natasha’. The Serbs are neither in the wrong nor in the right. Bure baruta ou Ranjena zemlja) had become. Nebeska Udica was probably the most successful of them all. Nebeska udica (‘Sky Hook’. 2000) . which had been seriously damaged by the NATO strikes. They don’t even have any dreams left. the film doesn’t favour a Manichean perspective.Boban Skerlić. and the first film to be set in a bombed Belgrade appeared in that very same year : Ranjena zemlja (‘The Wounded Country’) by Dragoslav Lazić.

nº 2. If you want to tell that kind of stories.arte-tv. “La guerre sur grand écran : filmographie de l’éclatement yougoslave”. Le Courrier des Balkans.). Morgan-Tamosunas R.. “Remembrance of the things past : Emir Kusturica’s Underground (1995)”. (dir.balkans. 2003) focused on the 1996-1997 student demonstrations. ce-review. 72 . Dakovic N. It is hard to determine what the Serbian cinema of the future will be like. Dakovic N. Miloš Petričić. privatisation and so on. vol. If you want to be political. 23-27 octobre 1970. Sometimes the lack of politics is also a political statement. 2. Yugoslav screen reflections of a turbulent decade.. in Ross K. I don’t think that we have to be stuck forever in the political agenda of the nineties. its injustices. it’s ok. Heidelberg.. (dir. to a couple of war refugees in the Belgrade of the mid-nineties. you have a lot of legitimate subjects about the transition. The Celluloid Tinderbox. Pretty Flames : Conflicting Identities”. including the proliferation of co-productions amongst the former republics. Théâtre du Parvis. New Jersey. Mapping the Margins. European Cinema: Inside Out. Bruxelles. and the latter tending to look in new directions. (ed. Universitatsverlag.. the characters in Skoro sasvim obična priča (‘An Almost Ordinary Story’.org.the films which were produced after the declaration of the new state of Serbia and Montenegro (now already dissolved) in 2003.). Young filmmakers such as Srdjan Dragojević believed that cinema shouldn’t remain forever trapped in the political agenda of the 1990s : “Nobody accuses the makers of ‘Meet the Fockers’ of not mentioning George Bush and the intervention in Iraq. J. 2004. lived in an IKEA-decorated flat and talked about the Simpsons.).. Anything that would involve repeating these films [Wounds and Pretty Village] would be exploitation” [See footnote 4].generally filmmakers from the previous generation : Emir Kusturica revisited the Bosnian conflict with Život je cudo (‘Life is a Miracle’) in 2004. 2000. Other Voices. Sjaj u ocima (‘Loving Glances’. Krstic I. BiBliographY ARTE archives : http://archives. cinema’s global tendency towards standardisation. the former staying trapped in the 1990s. “Semaine du Cinéma Yougoslave”. in Rings G. But you cannot accuse those who make genre films of not being political. as long as filmmakers from Yugoslav times are still active. Others have continued to treat questions related to the 1990s . Central Europe Review (www. Here.eu.org). at least from a thematic point of view. “Pretty Village. 2003b. I don’t think it’s an obligation. The heir of Socialist Yugoslav cinema? The end result of new transnational and global logistics? Innately Serbian? Many factors will be extremely important: the evolution of Serbo-Montenegrean relations.htm. Horton A. the atrocities and despair of the 1990s were clearly distant memories. foreign investments in the region.. 2003). it is very likely that the two cinemas will continue to coexist : the ‘Yugoslav’ cinema of the SFRY and the post-war Serbian cinema. Dakovic N. Goran Markovic’s Kordon (‘The Cordon’. 2003) ate cheeseburgers (not pljeskavicas). Derman D. March 2002. the return of the Yugoslav Diaspora and the definitive healing of war wounds. all I knew about that subject. Srdjan Karanovic devoted his comeback film. I feel I’ve said all I wanted.com/cinema/yougoslavie/ftext/menu. 2003a. “Re-thinking Serbia : A Psychoanalytic Reading on Modern Serbian History and Identity through Popular Culture”. www. For example. Furthermore. These examples are proof that the transition from Yugoslav to Serbian film has not been entirely accomplished.

As within most totalitarian systems. BALKAN IDENTITIES. cut. BALKAN CINEMAS 73 . Nevertheless. a new generation of directors and camera operators who had studied in various schools in the Balkans began to start something new. and re-written to fit in with communist ideology. It portrays the fate of an Albanian family from Kosovo which is exiled to Turkey. directed and co-written by Agim Sopi. always avoiding dealing with human problems. we should start from the establishment of Kosovafilm. Films that were made during this period were scrutinised. Kosovan cinema was in fact. Man Of EarTh By AGIM SOPI The first film ever to be banned and censored in the former Yugoslavia was Man of Earth. The first directors to herald a new cinematographic era in Kosovo were Agim Sopi. The main character is expelled 1 This article was written based on real-life interviews conducted with directors Agim Sopi and Isa Qosja. a body responsible for producing artistic films which was established in 1968. This was usually done by submitting half-scripts. Many well-educated directors and screenwriters had to use various diversionary tactics to conceal the real substance of their films. The cut negatives of these films were usually burnt. Isa Qosja and Ekrem Kryeziu. Most of the films that were produced during the communist period suffered from heavy censorship. it was hard to escape control and censorship in film production. they suffered heavily in the editing room. Up until the beginning of the 1980s. It was only at the beginning of the 1980s that some of the most sophisticated artistic productions that have ever been made in the history of Kosovo cinema came to light. as the examples of Man of Earth (Njeriu prej dheut) and The Guards of the Fog (Rojet e mjegulles) clearly demonstrate. Most scripts were sabotaged with different motives. for the most part. after the films were shot. it was closely controlled and directed by the communist policies of the time. Although it was created as an independent body. The film was shot between 1984 and 1985. in the shadow of Belgradian ideology. All of them faced censorship. In the early 1980s. resulting in up to 50 minutes of cut material for any one film. In order to trace the censorship from which Kosovan productions have suffered.A SHORT HISTORy OF CENSORSHIP IN KOSOVAN CINEMA1 BLerton AJeti & LuLZiM Hoti If we are discussing Kosovan cinema and its history. it is inevitable that we first speak about it in Yugoslavian terms. Kosovafilm produced films that nurtured and fed the idea of socialist realism. general ideas which did not include the most fundamental motives of the film. The rest of the material is based on academic material published in the public media.

There was huge pressure to rewrite the screenplay. One of the fundamental problems that occurred during the shooting was on location. they requested a cut of more than 30% of the screenplay. The government used various means to interfere. The screenplay secured a production grant. and the film went into editing. the real screenplay was introduced. It was a vague idea with no reference to any specific time or place. a camouflaged screenplay was submitted. Anatema by Agim Sopi (2006) © AS Film Production 74 . The first censorship of the film resulted in 40 minutes being cut. but it can be debated that it was not entirely successful as a drama film. The commission for reviewing the film met and ordered all of the important dramatic scenes to be cut out. which infuriated the officials at the time. is through death. the police came to the location with a few peasants and made up a murder scene simply to stall production. The film had its premiere. The only way he can really return however. Many other attempts were made to threaten and stop the production. looking desperately for a means to return to his country. All of the scenes which dealt with the reasons for the protagonist’s departure from the country were cut out.from his country with no family and no friends. It did not explain the substance of the film. The crew and cast managed to finish shooting. The production continued with huge problems. In order for production to continue. shooting was delayed for two days. When production began. In one case. any scenes depicting violence and the real motives behind the film were censored. In order to obtain permission for production. the film was intended to be around two hours and thirty minutes long. The funding was also cut drastically. Initially. and production had to continue with a minimal budget. He is no more than a wandering ghost.

ideological. The film was cut anyway. After a significant struggle. After 20 days of screening in Kosovan cinemas. The protagonist is an Albanian writer. an Albanian because the helmet of Skenderbeg also has the horns of the male goat. 180 000 tickets were sold. a battle began to have all the crew and cast arrested. but Belgrade wanted to ban it unconditionally. and then in the rest of Kosovo never to be shown again.Nevertheless. Negatives from all the cut scenes were burnt immediately. The film was never released again and the negatives are reportedly still in Belgrade. the writer is closely observed by government security forces (here we can see thematic similarities with the work of Kafka). The following day. and thus the communist government requires knowledge of his aspirations and creative dreams. judicial procedures were opened and inlterrogations started. because of the traditional Albanian white costumes and hats. Naturally. This film showed Kosovan awareness of the past. firstly in Prizren. there were also titles such as “The Rise of the Demons”. and re-released for public viewing. The film addresses the issue of totalitarian systems in relation to the physical abuse of an artist in Kosovo. the white clothes that the actors wore were identified as being Albanian. Serbian critics and journalists interpreted this as nostalgia for Albania. After the film was banned. thus explaining why he was looking out to sea. the director Agim Sopi refused. In the film. ThE GuarDS Of ThE fOG By ISA QOSJA The Guards of the Fog was shot between 1985 and 1986. they also speculated that the content of the letters was nostalgic. writers and artists felt concerned about the fact that Albanians were aware of these issues and oppressions. and of what could happen in the future. BALKAN CINEMAS 75 . They were ordered to cut a further 18 minutes from the film. Politicians in Belgrade called this response an infusion of Albanian nationalism that had been inspired by the film. it was very popular with the public. There is also a scene in which the writer sits on the beach in front of the sea writing letters. The media called the male goat nationalist and separatist. Following this. Similarly. and to shoot some new scenes that would promote the development of Kosovo. There is a scene in the film where a male goat is standing beside a dead woman. there were protests in the streets of Prishtina. and separatist. It was banned under the pretext that it inspired and supported the idea of Kosovo separating from Yugoslavia. The committee gathered once more to discuss its fate. The film was officially selected for the Pula Film Festival in Croatia. Two opposing parties formed in relation to the film. After this screening many Serbian journalists. Slovenian. BALKAN IDENTITIES. and still holds a record for audience numbers. The film was screened for just one day. Croatian and Kosovan artists supported the film. involving the intervention of Azem Shkreli (the Head of the Directorate in Prishtina at the time) and several foreign journalists. but after its initial screening a number of crusades began against the film. After this the film gained an international reputation thanks to newspaper reports. a government order banned the film. the film was banned. the cast and crew were released. Amongst the newspaper headlines. It was denounced as nationalistic.

He stayed underground for six days shooting footage of the miners’ conditions. Isa Qosja went inside a mine to shoot a documentary about the living conditions of the miners. a lack of resources. and all the projects from then on were closely monitored and controlled by the Serbian authorities.During the miners’ protests in Kosovo in 1989. Even television projects were censored and often interrupted during shooting. means that Kosovan cinema still remains unproductive and poor in terms of quality. It can easily be said that since the beginning of the 1990s. until 1999 and the arrival of NATO troops. Nevertheless. no serious film project has been produced in the region. he was approached by two security agents who asked him to follow them to an interrogation station. 76 . mainly financial. Kosovafilm was shut down. and has never been returned. During this tumultuous time the government and all institutions were abolished in Kosovo. as soon as he re-emerged. Qosja was held under arrest for two days. This continued for a decade. and does not suffer from any form of censorship. The national cinema at present enjoys democratic values and freedom of expression. The footage was confiscated.

After an intense. and it’s perhaps regrettable that there is more in the way of narration (by Kukumi) than actual spoken dialogue by the three. However on the whole Kukumi proceeds with sufficient tact. Hasan goes to see his brother with Mara.which has probably been their home for decades . Hasan and Mara are alternately sources of childlike wonder. Kukumi.when the political circumstances cause the guards to flee.ISA QOSJA. The trio begin their journey together through a beautifully-shot landscape. Mara (Anisa Ismaili) and Hasan (Donat Qosja) are ‘liberated’ from the mental hospital . It depicts the Kosovo of 1999. but the welcome they receive isn’t exactly a warm one. goofball oddity and even slapstick comedy.. poetic opening that recalls the Tarkovsky of Andrei Rublev and Stalker. Kukumi gradually reveals itself as a low-key. intelligence and sensitivity to ensure that viewers will probably give it the benefit of the doubt. KOSOVO KUKUMI © Burbuque Berisha (2005) Kukumi by Isa Qosja was the first full-length feature film from Kosovo since it was declared a UN-protected ‘mission’. slow-paced charmer which approaches the political circumstances of the time from a bemused. but are soon divided by a conflict between Hasan and Kukumi. and also for all Western-European citizens. A very important film for Kosovo.. oblique angle. where Kukumi (Luan Jaha). ALExANDER RICHTER 77 .

In any case at least. during the last five years. Nuri Bilge Ceylan has since then appeared as the most renowned Turkish director on the international level. Ustaoglu and Arslan on the festival circuit has been merely a secondary phenomenon alongside the return to grace of the mainstream national cinema. in fact.THE RETURN TO GRACE OF TURKISH CINEMA MATTHIEU DARRAS Times and Winds by Reha Erdem (2006) © Atlantik Film Cannes Grand Prix winner in 2003 with Uzak. it now generates much more money than in it used to. the success of Ceylan and fellow directors such as Demirkubuz. by no means lacking in financial resources. They have been – and still are – low-budget independent productions. In 2005. The author of Iklimler deliberately makes use of eccentricity financially speaking in order to ensure his artistic integrity. and held a market share of close to 40%. That year also saw the 78 . More generally. seeking their funding from abroad. Turkish films constituted 7 of the top 10 domestic box office hits. Turkish cinema is. However his films occupy a marginal economic position in the Turkish cinema industry.

notably to see his father. Amongst the big box office successes. an adaptation of a popular television series. on the eve of the military coup of 1980. At the other end of the country.and are often coloured by naïve fantasies. but they at least have the merit of being relevant to today’s society . the director. a comical reflection on multiculturalism in Turkey which takes us all the way back to the 14th century. Often turning to the past.) in all their diversity. But should we be smiling about the fact that this film from Serdar Akar attracted an audience of over 5 million in 2006? There are. Such is the case in the farcical Why were Hacivat and Karagöz Murdered? (Hacivat Karagöz Neden Öldürüldü?). In fact it is evident that the growth in the number of productions. political etc. the comical stories of Kurdish actor Yilmaz Erdogan lack tautness. Using the weapons of the enemy for an anti-American pamphlet. This is no small thing for a nation which is always trying to bury the hatchet and accept its minorities (ethnic. several better quality mainstream films. Impossible. however.. BALKAN CINEMAS 79 . Seven years later. is the controversial Valley of the Wolves: Iraq (Kurtlar Vadisi – Irak). due to the roads and hospitals being completely deserted when she goes into labour. Childhood memories of Anatolian directors’ native villages abound . this general good health has little impact on independent filmmakers. the same events overwhelm the lives of ordinary people. My Father and My Son (Babam ve oğlum) is a highly effective melodrama which combines themes of intergenerational conflict and collective national memories of a tragic nature. he returns to his parents’ home in the Agean countryside. as the crescendo of emotional tension and the audience’s identification with the characters work both subtly and fully. With the biggest budget in the history of Turkish cinema.such as Organize Isler . Sure. many are conceived by and for television channels. troubled history of the country with the spirit of unity in mind .completion of 27 full-length Turkish film productions. such as Boats out of Watermelon Rinds (Karpuz BALKAN IDENTITIES.as in Vizontele Tuuba. and this is all too often reflected in their aesthetic tendencies. to a time when Bursa was the capital. a Pagnol-style Anatolian comedy. as he is struggling to bring him up alone. the industry is performing better than it was before.or of approaching the recent. with whom relations have been distant ever since he refused to take over the family farm. if an unusual one. One example of this trend. this melodrama/revenge-story set during the Iraq war was made according to the conventions of more down-market Hollywood fare. within the context of media integration. Cağan. The story of a librarian exiled to a village near Diyarbakir (which doesn’t have a library).. However. challenged audiences not to cry when watching the film. Undeniably. is not necessarily favourable to artistic innovation. Confident in his own work. Sadik wants to them to take his young son into their care. Political militant Sadik loses his wife the very same morning of the coup d’état. In summary. now there’s something interesting. dividing even families. Vizontele Tuuba depicts a community divided between innocuous revolutionaries on the one side and foolish supporters of the right on the other. Presented at the festival of Istanbul in April 2006. mainstream cinema easily falls into nostalgic territory.

which I intentionally include in this article since the Hamburg-born director accepted the Best Script Award at the Cannes film festival for his overwhelming melodrama… in the name of Turkish cinema! 80 . In 2007 a couple of not-to-be-missed Turkish films also came up: Takva from Yeni Sinemacilar. Full of potential. hypnotic. the portrayal of Zeynep’s character is almost glacial. It succeeds in expressing the unspeakable. the story of a man living according to the teachings of medieval Islam. rebellious and yet fragile. The mechanism takes precedent over everything else. For example. By using common ingredients of mainstream cinema (a village. and how the love of parents for their children can become harmful. Despite the many masterful qualities of the film. Times and Winds (Bes Vakit) is the revelation of 2006. This is true for Angel’s Fall (Meleğin düşüşü). Behiye and Handan seem to be opposites in every way: one is brunette. filmmakers do also make forays into contemporary urban life. Given rhythm by the calls to prayer from the mosque and music from Arvo Pärt. Contrasting mainstream and auteur cinema does not always necessarily reveal a qualitative difference. which brings back the characters from Innocence (Masumiyet). even if the story of personal growth experienced by the two young girls has an air of déjà vu about it. which centres on a young woman working as a chambermaid. is particularly keen on the use of flashback techniques. furrows its way through lanes. the second film from Semih Kaplanoğlu. A kind of auscultation and capturing of the pulse of a community through the interwoven viewpoints of three young adolescents. the two adolescents share an obsessive friendship. whilst examining the relationship between human beings and the natural elements surrounding them. Times and Winds treats with the same originality the question of religion. like many of his fellow filmmakers. Nevertheless. In addition . Two Girls (Iki Genç Kiz) is also a portrait of young women. children.). and carried along by two brilliant comediennes. Reha Erdem delivers an atmospheric film. much too cold for us to become attached to her. but the film struggles to avoid the conventions of the genre. who gives us a view of the body of a woman seeking to liberate herself from her constraints. Yavuz Turgul. Auteur cinema can be just as tedious when it falls into cliché. superficial and sure of herself. the narrative of the dramatic comedy Gönül Yarasi spans the parallel lives of three individuals in modern-day Istanbul. the third film from Kutluğ Ataman is a pleasure to watch.as always the past is never far away. and last but not least. Kader. etc. who has an irascible father. Fatih Akin’s Auf der Anderen Seite. As in The Dreamlife of Angels (La Vie Rêvée des Anges). In a different register. linked by the theme of violence against women. Şener Şen puts in an exemplary performance as a teacher who leaves his pupils for a priesthood in service of the Republic. the other blonde.Kabu undan gemiler yapmak) by Ahmet Uluçay or The Waterfall (Sellale) by Semir Arslanyürek. Without parallel on the other hand. The camera. passing by walls and hills. We feel all too intensely the intention of the director. the latest film from Zeki Demirkubuz. produced in 1997.

connected by several characters with very different lifestyles and concerns : a sullen clarinettist. a young lady and her little daughter. turKeY iStanBuL taLeS Istanbul Tales is a film-poem. at the end. a Mafioso. an ode to the magnificence of Istanbul… Although Istanbul Tales is not exactly original. © TMC (2005) At last. a transvestite. the circle is completed. The film then begins with the sound of a classical orchestra.Ümit ÜnaL. Only now do we realise that the entire film was a fairytale. which is filled with diverse and yet complementary atmospheres. and the little girl closes the book she was reading. BALKAN CINEMAS 81 . Kudret SaBanCi. like those of a book… We see a mosque and oriental roofs floodlit at sunset. YÜCeL YoLCu and Õmũr ataY. her brother… and.CoLLeCtive . GAëLLE DEBAISIEUx BALKAN IDENTITIES. One of those movies that takes you by the hand and leads you through all the winding paths that a city as big and mythical as Istanbul contains. and from that moment jumps from story to story. his girl. a young emigrant. Pages turn. The story begins with a little voice. a young ‘chilled to the bone’ lover. which deserves attention and gives the spectator the immediate desire to take a plane to Istanbul. which tells us about the fascinating beauty of the place. a dwarf. All of these characters are in turn linked together by the city itself. as a whole it forms an artistically and rhythmically masterful patchwork. SeLim demirdeLen. a schizophrenic beauty.

2 Days ~ 4 luni. închisoare Boats Out of Watermelon Rinds ~ Karpuz kabugundan gemiler yapmak Border Post (The) ~ Karaula Boulevard of Revolution (The) ~ Bulevar Revolucije Burlesque Tragedy (The) ~ Urnebesna tragedija California Dreamin’ Cashier Wants to Go to the Seaside (The) ~ Blagajnica hoće ići na more Cat People Christmas Tree Upside Down Climates ~ Iklimler Conjugal Bed (The) Cordon (The) ~ Kordon Croatian Cathedrals ~ Hrvatske katedrale Dagger (The) ~ Nož 82 82 1° For ease of use.INDEx FILMS1 4 Months. 45-46 43 70 53 70 43 68 52 40 72 23 33 80 39 59 80 65. 3 saptamani si 2 zile 10 Minutes 12:08 East of Bucharest ~ A fost sau n-a fost? 15 A Night at My Mother’s House A Wonderful Night in Split ~ Ta divna Splitska noc Absolute Hundred ~ Apsolutnih sto Afternoon of a Torturer (The) ~ Dupa-amiaza unui tortionar Aliens are to be Blamed for everything ~ Svemirci su krivi za sve Alone ~ Sami Ambassadors Seek Country ~ Ambasadori. White Cat ~ Crna mačka beli mačor Bless You Prison ~ Binecuvântata fii. 68 68-69 43 79-80 53 70 70 49 51 14 35 78 40 72 51 67. 3 Weeks. cautam patrie An Almost Ordinary Story ~ Skoro sasvim obicna prica An Unforgettable Summer ~ O vara de neuitat And God Came Down to See Us ~ Posseteni ot gospoda Angel’s Fall ~ Melegin düsüsü Asphalt Tango ~ Asfalt tango At Uncle Idriza’s ~ Kod Amidze Idriza Auf der Anderen Seite Balkan Rules ~ Balkanska pravila Beautiful People Before the Rain ~ Pred dozhdot Belgrade . Original titles are only provided when they are included in the texts themselves. 47 57 41-42. 69-70 57 23 71 67 65. titles in this index have been listed first in English. 70 .Manhattan ~ Dorcol-Menhetn Big Mess (The) ~ Velika frka Black Bombarder ~ Crni bombarder Black Cat.

70 43 73. 62 51 80 68 67 69. Jump Hornet (The) ~ Stršljen Horseman ~ Konjanik How the War Started on my Island ~ Kako je počeo rat na mom otoku I Love You ~ Volim te Innocence ~ Masumiyet Investigation Istanbul Tales 70 40-41. Skip. 44 66 70 14 39 55 39 43 80 40 39 61 27. 29-30 40 53 66 68 58 79 67 37 59-60. 75-76 43 53 57 70 53 51 53 80 35 81 .INDEx FILMS 83 Dark is the Night ~ Tamna je noc Death of Mister Lazarescu (The) Deserter (The) ~ Dezerter Diary of Insults 1993 ~ Dnevnik uvreda 1993 Die Hard with a Vengeance Divorce from Love Do You Remember Dolly Bell? Dolce Farniente Dream Woman Dreamlife of Angels (The) ~ La vie rêvée des anges Duel E Pericolosi Sporgersi Esma’s Secret ~ Grbavica Eternity and a Day Fed-Up Fine Dead Girls ~ Fine mrtve djevojke Flashback ~ Budjenje proleca Full Moon Over Belgrade ~ Pun mesec nad Beogradom Fuse ~ Gori vatra Gemide Getting Better ~ Bice bolje Giorgi and the Butterflies Go West Golden Years ~ Zlatne godine Gönül Yarasi Goodbye 20th Century Goodbye in Chicago ~ Dovidjenja u Čikagu Gorilla Bathes at Noon ~ Gorila se kupa u podne Great Communist Bank Robbery (The) Guards of the Fog (The) Happy End Here ~ Tu Hop.

ljubavi i slobode Letter to America Life is a Miracle ~ Život je cudo Little One (The) ~ Mala Long Dark Night ~ Duga mračna no Love Sick Loving Glances ~ Sjaj u ocima Lucky Three ~ Treca sreca Luxury Hotel Man of Earth ~ Njeriu prej dheut Man. Love and Freedom ~ Zemlja istine. Monster Marble Ass Marshal Tito’s Spirit ~ Maršal Migrations ~ Seobe Mila from Mars Milky Way ~ Mlijecni put Mondo Bobo Monkeys in Winter Mosquito Problem and Other Stories (The) Mum’n’Dad ~ Mama I Tata My Father and My Son ~ Babam ve oğlum Nafaka-Luck ~ Nafaka Natasha Nervous System (The) Ni na nebu ni na zemlju Niki and Flo No Man’s Land No One Lives Here Anymore Normal People ~ Normalni ljudi Oak (The) Occident Organize Isler Orient Express 43 68 40 80 14 39 77 34 71 33 72 69 53 41 72 67 39 73 55 70 51 70 17 57 52 35 37 61 79 61 70 40 70 43 21. 57-58 39 70-71 39 40 79 43 .INDEx FILMS 84 Italian Girls Jews are Coming (The) ~ Jevreji dolaze Joint Kadar Kika King of the Marshes (The) Kukumi Lady Zee Land of Truth. God.

INDEx FILMS 85 Original of the Forgery ~ Originalna falsifikata 69 Our Lady ~ Gospa 51 Păcală Returns 43 Paper Will Be Blue (The) 41. Booze and Short Fuse ~ Sex.70 Premeditated Murder ~ Ubistvo sa predumišljajem 69.72 Purple Rose of Cairo (The) 67 Rage ~ Do koske 70. 69. 22. 71 Red Rats 39 Remake 58 Savior (The) 19 Second Fall of Constantinople (The) 39 Second Hand 43 Sex. piće i krvoproliće 53 Skies Above the Landscape ~ Nebo iznad krajolika 61 Skin Tight 4 ~ Tesna Koza 4 68 Sky Hook ~ Nebeska udica 71 Sleep of the Island (The) 39 Small Island (The) 33 Snail’s Senator (The) 40 Someone Else’s America 68 Sorry for Kung Fu ~ Oprosti za kung fu 53 Stand By 70 Stone Cross (The) 39 Story from Croatia (The) ~ Priča iz Hrvatske 51 Stuff and Dough 39-40 Summer in the Golden Valley ~ Ljeto u Zlatnoj Dolini 58 Suspended Step of the Stork (The) 27-29 Sweet Dreams ~ Slatko od snova 67 Takva 80 Tango Argentino 68 Tango is a Sad Thought to be Danced ~ Tango je tužna misao koja se pleše 70 Tank (The) 43 Terente 39 . 43 Peacemaker (The) 14 Perfect Circle ~ Savrseni Krug 55 Philanthropy 17. 65-66.70 Pretty Village. Pretty Flame ~ Lepa sela lepo gore 20.40 Policeman from Cock’s Hill (The) ~ Policajac sa Petlovog Brda 67 Powder Keg ~ Bure Baruta 68. 71 Rashomon 40 Rat Uživo 65.

listopada 2003.INDEx FILMS 86 Terrace on the Roof ~ Terasa na krovu Tertium non datur The Sky.70 78 79 70 79 51.65. the Satellites ~ Nebo. sateliti Thief ’s Comeback Three Men of Melita Žganjer ~ Tri muškarca Melite Žganjer Žganjer Three Palms for Two Punks and a Babe ~ Tri palme za dve bitange i ribicu Three Summer Days ~ Tri letnja dana Three Tickets to Hollywood ~ Tri karte za Holivud Thunderbirds ~ Munje Times and Winds ~ Bes Vakit Tito and Me ~ Tito i ja Too Late Tunnel ~ Tunel Two Girls ~ Iki Genç Kiz Ulysses’ Gaze Underground Uzak Valley of the Wolves: Iraq ~ Kurtlar Vadisi – Irak Virgina ~ Virdžina Vizontele Tuuba Vukovar: The Way Home ~ Vukovar se vraća kući War Live ~ Rat uživo Washed Out ~ Isprani Waterfall (The) ~ Sellale Way I Spent the End of the World (The) We Are Not Angels ~ Mi nismo andjeli Well Tuned Corpses ~ Dobra dustman privacy What a Happy World What Iva Recorded on October 21st. 70 14. 70 70 39 36 66 79 53 71 22. 27-28 69. 66 65 51 80 41-43 67 59-60 39 53 53 67 55. What’s a Man Without a Moustache? Što je muškarac bez brkova? Wheels ~ Točkovi When Father was Away on Business Whirlpool of Passion ~ Nečista krv Who Is Right? Whose is this Song? Why Have You Left Me ~ Kaži zašto me ostavi Why were Hacivat and Karagōz Murdered? Hacivat Karagöz Neden Öldürüldü? Witnesses ~ Svjedoci Wounded Country ~ Ranjena zemlja Wounds ~ Rane 86 Zorba the Greek 70 43 52 70 51 67 70 68 67 80 69 39 57 80 22.20 . 2003? ~ Što je Iva snimila 21.

65-67. 20. 25. 80 34 57 70 61 20.58 38 25 25 68-70 73 40 14. 70 61 25 15. 39-40 78 35 38 39 39. 22. 59. 60 38 25 38. 23. 27-30 69 78 80 80 81 51 65. 55. 68-71 51 71 39 70 66 51. 71 14 67. 62 38 53 67 35 53 80 72 55-56. 22-23 39. 40 81 78. 68-70. 40. 38. 67.INDEx DIRECTORS Serdar Akar Fatih Akin Woody Allen Pedro Almodovar Milena Andonova Radivoje Andrić Theo Angelopoulos Pedrag Antonijević Yilmaz Arslan Semir Arslanyürek Kutluğ Ataman Õmũr Atay Ante Babaja Darko Bajić Zvonimir Berković Isidora Bjelica Andrei Blaier Vladimir Blaževski Gordana Boškov Vinko Brešan Detlev Buck Michael Cacoyannis Cağan Irmak Zoran Čalić Nae Caranfil Nuri Bilge Ceylan Ivan Cherkelov Liviu Ciulei Florin Codre Mircea Daneliuc Selim Demirdelen Zeki Demirkubuz Georgi Deulgerov Jasmin Dizdar Mladomir Djordjević Nenad Djurić Srdjan Dragojević Boro Drašković Bogdan Dumitrescu 79 80 67 14 35 67 14-15. 29 14. 70 28. 64. 53 25 14 79 67-68 17. 72 Dragoslav Lazić Mimi Leder Miroslav Lekić Faruk Loncarević Pavel Loungine Dušan Makavejev Yanaki and Milton Manakia Milcho Manchevski Nicolae Mărgineanu Prvoslav Marić 87 61 43 80 79 59. BALKAN CINEMAS . 70. 41 70 53 43 53 57.72 66 39 Jasmin Duraković Andrei Enache Reha Erdem Yilmaz Erdogan Benjamin Filipović Miloš Forman Alexey Gherman Tudor Giurgiu Srdjan Golubović Rajko Grlić Napoleon Helmis Hrvoje Hribar Ahmed Imamović Szabó István Branko Ivanda Milan Jelić Vasil Jivko Zvonimir Jurić Semih Kaplanoğlu Srdjan Karanović Ademir Kenović Krzytszof Kieślowsky Fatmir Koci Srdan Koljević Dragan Kresoja Ekrem Kryeziu Akira Kurosawa Emir Kusturica 21. 43 68 87 BALKAN IDENTITIES.

INDEx DIRECTORS 88 Goran Marković Dalibor Matanić Boris Matić John McTiernan Jiři Menzel Radu Mihăileanu Gordan Mihić Jancsó Miklós Djordje Milošavljević Darko Mitrevski Cătălin Mitulescu Cristian Mungiu Radu Muntean Mircea Mureşan Dino Mustfic Cristian Nemescu Sergiu Nicolaescu Božidar Nikolić Lukas Nola Oleg Novković Antonio Nuić Zrinko Ogresta Arsen Ostojić Krsto Papić Goran Paskaljević Andrey Paunov Živojin Pavlović Adela Peeva Gothár Péter Miloš Petričić Aleksandar Petrovic Milutin Petrović Lucian Pintilie Dan Pita Aleksandar Popovski Corneliu Porumboiu Radu Potcoavă Cristi Puiu Isa Qosja Tomislav Radić 69-70. 72 51. 75-77 53 Miloš Radivojević Goran Rušinović Kudret Sabanci Geo Saizescu Ljubiša Samardžić Jakov Sedlar Abdulah Sidran Yeni Sinemacilar Slobodan-Boban Skerlić Jerzy Skolimowski Zornitsa Sophia Faruk Sokolovic Alexandru Solomon Agim Sopi Omer Faruk Sorak Zdravko Šotra Gorčin Stojanović Ognjen Sviličić Danis Tanovic Alexandru Tatos Jacques Tourneur Snježana Tribuson Iglika Trifonova Ümit Ünal Ahmet Ulucay Malvina Urşianu Yesim Ustaoglu Rangel Valchanov Mircea Veroiu Čeda Veselinović Antun Vrdoljak Mihailo Vukobratović Mirjana Vukomanović Srdjan Vuletić Yavuz Yurgul Pjer Zalica Jasmila Zbanić Želimir Žilnik Vladmir Zivković Davor Žmegač 70 52 81 43 70-71 51 55 80 70-71 38 17. 52 66. 43 68 38. 40. 25. 25 57 43 73-75 79 70 69-70 53 21. 44 73. 38-39. 41-42 38. 53 53 51 38. 71 53 51. 41-42. 40-41 39 58 49 38-40. 57-58 39 14 51 35 81 80 39 78 33 39 70 53 67 70 57-58 80 58-59 61 70 67-68 51 . 70 37 66 36 38 71 70 72 22. 45-46 43 38-42. 47 38. 40. 53 53 14 38 39 70 25 67 68 38. 43 68 51. 68. 43 39.

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