Valley Of Peace
, 89min, slOmeU
In the middle of World War II, war orphans Marko and Lotti try to seek shelter in the “valley of peace”. On their way, they meet an American pilot named Jim (John Kitzmiller), who is on the run after his plane crash lands. Both the German enemy and the Yugoslavian partisans are racing to find him, but the two children he has taken under his wing slow down the heroic GI. With DOLINA MIRU, France Štiglic brought Yugoslavian film to the world stage: his humanist masterpiece had its international premiere at the 1957 Cannes Festival, where Kitzmiller won the prestigious Golden Palm for Best Actor, seven years before Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win an Oscar. An actual former GI, John Kitzmiller came to film a few years after landing in Italy, after a proposal from a director looking for a black soldier. He then starred in a score of movies, mostly Italian, and directed by such luminaries as Luigi Zampa, Alberto Lattuada, and Sergio Corbucci. But it was DOLINA MIRU that truly made his career, and he later became known for his parts in DR. NO (1962) and UNCLE TOM’S CABIN (1965). The fourth feature by France Štiglic, DOLINA MIRU remains his most popular and enduring work to this day. The unusual trio of a German girl, Slovenian boy, and a black American soldier represent a timeless, lyrical monument to a pan-national and pan-racial united front against fascism and for peace.