, 104min, skrOmeU
Yugoslavia’s most important contribution to the global history of cinema by far goes by the name of Živojin Pavlović. A proper Renaissance man, Pavlović was an accomplished painter, writer (of both fiction and theory), educator, and, above all, filmmaker whose body of work still needs to be properly discovered and evaluated beyond the borders of the former Yugoslavia. More interested in contemporary reality and best known for a series of seminal Black Wave works dealing with contemporary subjects, Pavlović nevertheless applied his razor-sharp critical apparatus, penchant for dirty naturalism, and stunning visual sense twice to the subject of World War II in Yugoslavia. His first partisan film HAJKA is an account not of heroic struggles, but of a hopeless manhunt, portraying a broken division of partisans constantly fleeing from Italian occupying forces and local traitors in the hills of Montenegro. In place of glorifying war and revolution, Pavlović offers only self-doubt and disillusion. He shows a seemingly active collective as a swarm of mostly passive or opportunistic individuals. Most shockingly of all, he shows death – and does so repeatedly – not as a noble sacrifice for a better tomorrow, but as something nasty, brutal, meaningless and, above all, completely random. The bleakest, yet likely most accurate depiction of Yugoslavian partisans in this entire retrospective at the same time.
On November 13th, with an introduction by Andrej Šprah.