Retrospective 2019

Kad čuješ zvona

When You Hear the Bells
Antun Vrdoljak
YU 1969
92 min

The complexity of history and war has rarely been handled with such humanism and lucidity as in KAD ČUJEŠ ZVONA. The film and its twin feature U GORI RASTE ZELEN BOR are distinguished by a genre-bending approach that takes several great, almost mythical subjects, transforming them into a subtle existential tapestry with characters as perfectly flawed and intricate as imaginable. With an adept stylistic hand and nuanced eye, assisted by renowned cinematographer Frano Vodopivec, Croatian director Antun Vrdoljak showed all the makings of a true master of cinema. The infamous right-wing political career he pursued in the ’90s becomes all the more astonishing in light of the gritty poetic realism of KAD ČUJEŠ ZVONA, a study in human frailty and a condemnation of shortsighted ‘differences’ (whether religious, ethnic or cultural) as the cause of any and every conflict. In this case, one village is fighting another – the first is on the partisan side, with prominently embroidered red stars shining forth both day and night, while the other village supports the Ustashe. Support is an ambiguous term, as much of the film goes to show, astutely revealing the layers behind the deceptively obvious. With a remarkable cast headed by a superb Pavle Vuisić, the film brings humanity to war, a notion that will never seem abstract again.

  • Pavle Vuisić
  • Boris Buzančić
  • Boris Dvornik
  • Ivica Vidović
  • Fabijan Šovagović
  • Antun Vrdoljak
  • basierend auf Motiven aus Ivan Šibl’s Kriegstagebuch
  • Frano Vodopivec
  • Radojka Tanhofer
  • Anđelko Klobučar
Filmska radna zajednica Zagreb, CFRZ Beograd
35 mm
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