Pretty Village, Pretty Flame

a k a Lepa Sela Lepo Gore

1996-Yugoslavia-Black Comedy/Political Satire/Anti-War Film
N.Y. Times Review by Lawrence Van Gelder

Type: Features
Running Time: 128 Minutes
Directed by: Srdjan Dragojevic


Though cloaked in explosive black humor, the serious anti-war message of this bitterly satirical and politically charged Yugoslav film cuts like shrapnel. Set in Bosnia during 1980 and 1992 (like a pendulum, the time frame swings back and forth), and allegedly based upon a true story, the plot focuses upon the longtime friendship of Muslim Halil, and Serbian Milan. While growing up during the '80s, the two often hung out near an abandoned tunnel. Though curious, the boys were too frightened by the mythical boy-eating ogres said to venture within. The story moves to 1992 and begins as the war between the Serbs and the Muslim ignites in horrible violence and the friends find themselves forced into becoming enemies. Meanwhile, a beautiful American journalist is captured by the Serbs. The film opens with a shot of European and American dignitaries smiling broadly as they inaugurate the new Brotherhood and Unity tunnel that links Zagreb and Belgrade. Later in the film, it will become the scene of horror when Serbian soldiers are trapped by Muslims within. With nothing to do but wait for death, the trapped soldiers amuse themselves by staging allegorical circus acts. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide


Mi Nismo Andjeli

a k a We Are Not Angels

1994-Serbia and Montenegro

Type: Features
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Starring: Nikola Kojo, Milena Pavlovic, Branka Katic, Srdjan Todorovic, Uros Djuric
Directed by: Srdjan Dragojevic


This cynical Serbian comedy features a battle between Good and Evil. The tale centers around a teenage fashion student, Marina and a freewheeling swinger, Nikola. After their one night stand, which he does not remember, the spaced out girl finds herself pregnant. Marina will do anything to con Nikola into marrying her. She enlists her friends to devise a series of crazy plots. Included are scenes of a devil with a nose for coke and rock'n'roll, and an effete angel dancing to '60s tunes. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide


The Wounds

a k a Rane

1998-France/Serbia and Montenegro-War Drama/Teen Movie/Coming-of-Age
N.Y. Times Review by Janet Maslin

Type: Features
Running Time: 103 Minutes
Starring: Dusan Pekic, Milan Maric, Dragan Bjelogrlic, Branka Katic, Miki Manojlovic
Directed by: Srdjan Dragojevic


Srdjan Dragojevic directed this Serbian-French drama about life in war-torn Belgrade, as narrated by teen Pinki (Dusan Pekic). In 1996, a stoned Pinki and his pal Kraut (Milan Maric) speed through Belgrade streets as the city celebrates the war's conclusion. A flashback travels to the year 1991 when Pinki and Kraut are into petty crimes, masturbation, and girls. They admire Dickie (Dragan Bjelogrlic), who shows them easy cash and sleek cars. Dickie has his girlfriend Suki (Branka Katic) do a sex demo for the teens. Many local toughs turn up on TV's Street Pulse, hosted by sexy Lidija, and the duo angles for an invite to the show. In 1993, drugs bring on a darker side, evident in full force by 1995. Shown at the 1998 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide


Emir Kusturica

Director/Screenwriter/Producer/Executive Producer/Actor: November 24, 1954 - Sarajevo, Yugoslavia

2005 All the Invisible Children Director / Executive Producer
2004 Zivot Je Cudo Screenwriter / Director / Producer
2003 The Good Thief Actor: Vladimir
2003 Jagoda U Supermarketu Producer
2001 Super 8 Stories Actor / Director / Executive Producer / Cinematographer
2000 The Widow of Saint-Pierre Actor: Neel
1998 Black Cat, White Cat Director / Screenwriter
1995 Underground Actor: Arms dealer / Director / Screenwriter
1993 Arizona Dream Director
1989 Time of the Gypsies Director / Screenwriter
Emir Kusturica
Jean Baptiste Lacroix/

From All Movie Guide: With an impressive string of internationally acclaimed features, Yugoslavian filmmaker Emir Kusturica became one of the most creative directors in cinema during the 1980s and '90s. Born in Sarajevo and educated at the distinguished FAMU Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, he began directing Yugoslavian television shows before making an auspicious feature-film debut in 1981 with Do You Remember Dolly Bell?, which won the prestigious Golden Lion at that year's Venice Film Festival. His sophomore film, When Father Was Away on Business (1985), earned a Golden Palm at Cannes, five Yugoslavian Oscar equivalents, and was nominated for an American Academy award for Best Foreign Film. In 1989, he earned even more accolades for Time of the Gypsies a penetrating but magical look into gypsy culture and the exploitation of their youths. Kusturica continued to make highly regarded films into the next decade, including his American debut, the absurdist comedy Arizona Dream (1993) and the Golden Palm-winning black comedy Underground (1995). In 1998, he won the Venice Film Festival's Silver Lion for Best Direction for Black Cat, White Cat, an outrageous, farcical comedy set in a Gypsy settlement on the banks of the Danube.


Best Supporting Actor (nom) Veuve de Saint-pierre 2000 French Academy of Cinema
Silver Lion for Best Director (win) Black Cat, White Cat 1998 Venice International Film Festival
Best Foreign Film (nom) Underground 1997 Independent Spirit Award
Palme d'Or (win) Underground 1995 Cannes Film Festival
Best Director (win) Dom Za Vesanje 1989 Cannes Film Festival
Golden Lion for Best First Film (win) Sjecas Li Se Dolly Bell? 1981 Venice International Film Festival


Zivot Je Cudo

a k a La Vie Est un Miracle; Life Is a Miracle

2004-France/Serbia and Montenegro-Black Comedy

Type: Features
Distributor: StudioCanal
Running Time: 154 Minutes
Starring: Slavko Stimac, Natasa Solak, Vesna Trivalic, Vuk Kostic, Aleksandar Bercek
Directed by: Emir Kusturica


The tragedy of the war in Bosnia makes way for the humor and compassion of people living their lives under difficult circumstances in this comedy drama from filmmaker Emir Kusturica. In 1992, war is brewing in Bosnia, but the city fathers in the town of Golobuci are going ahead with their plans of building a railroad line they hope will bring more visitors into the city. Luka (Slavko Stimac), who is in charge of the construction project, lives with his wife, Jadranka (Vesna Trivalic), a former musician who is suffering from manic depression, and his son, Milos (Vuk Kostic), a talented soccer player who dreams of turning pro some day. After Jadranka has an especially severe episode, Luka takes her to the hospital, where he meets Sabaha (Natasa Solak), a Moslem nurse who quickly develops a nonprofessional interest in Luka. As the clouds of war appear on the horizon, Milos is drafted into the army and Jadranka runs away, and after Sabaha is left with no place to go, she's sent to Luka's place by his friend Aleksic (Stribor Kusturica), where she quickly takes over as both housekeeper and bedmate to Luka. Zivot Je Cudo (aka Life Is a Miracle) was screened in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Time of the Gypsies

a k a Dom Za Vesanje

N.Y. Times Review by Janet Maslin


Perhan (Davor Dujmovic) is a Gypsy teenager with the ability to move objects with his mind. A criminal named Ahmed convinces him to leave his devoted grandmother (Ljubica Adzovic) and loving girlfriend, and to use his powers to make some money illegally. While becoming a man and learning the trade of crime, the boy searches for his sister (who was supposed to have a leg operation) and tries to save money to realize his fantasy of returning home to marry the woman of his dreams. This film won Emir Kusturica an award at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival for his direction and was the first feature to be filmed with its entire dialogue in the Gypsy language, Romany. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

A Turkey!, March 13, 2005
Reviewer: judithj1

There is a lot of turkey symbolism in this film but mostly it is just foreshadowing how bad it is going to be. It appears that this Yugoslavian flick has garnered a lot of rave reviews but I think the emperor has no clothes! Although filmed in a whimsical Chagalesque sort of way, it doesn't really have a plot line or a sympathetic protagonist and actually I think that he mutates into the villian. If there is a story line, it appears to be lifted from Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist and really, the whole mess of dwarfs, alcoholics, prostitutes, child abusers and such are rather off-putting. If I hadn't had fast foward I would have never have finished it. There may be people who live their lives this way in that part of the world but I don't think anyone watching this this film is going to be able to alleviate their plight. I would suggest that you rent The King of Gypsies which is an insightful film about gypsy life w/real gypsies as actors or Olvier Twist or just go outside and get some exercise instead.

Arizona Dream

1993-France-Adventure Drama
N.Y. Times Review by Janet Maslin



Director Emir Kusturica and screenwriter David Atkins crafted this absurdist comedy in which Johnny Depp plays Axel Blackmer, who lives in New York State and is obsessed with fish. He tags fish and monitors their habits for a living, but his greatest curiosity is when and how they dream. Axel's uncle, Leo Sweetie (Jerry Lewis) would prefer Axel take over the family business, a Cadillac dealership in Tucson, Arizona; against his better judgment, Axel drives from New York to Arizona to check out the lot and attend Leo's wedding to Millie (Paulina Porizkova), a woman who is hoping that marriage will keep her from crying all the time. While watching the Cadillacs, Leo meets Elaine Stalker (Faye Dunaway), the sexy widow of a wealthy mine owner, and the two strike up a romance, while Elaine's daughter Grace (Lili Taylor) wanders through her mother's home playing "Besame Mucho" on the accordion to her pet turtles. Needless to say, Warner Bros, the film's United States distributor, didn't figure this was a sure bet for box-office success, and they trimmed Arizona Dream of 22 minutes before putting it into limited release and eventually dumping it onto home video without opening it in most major cities. Kusturica's original 142-minute cut was released in Europe (where it did respectable if not ground-shaking business) and to a few art houses in America; the shortened 120-minute version is available on home video. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide


a k a Podzemlje - bila jednom jedna zemlje

1995-France/Germany/Hungary-Black Comedy/Political Satire/Anti-War Film
N.Y. Times Review by Janet Maslin
  Critic's Pick



An unpredictable black comedy with an epic scope, Emir Kusturica's highly acclaimed Underground takes a look at the modern history of Yugoslavia through the often absurd misadventures of two friends over several decades. The film begins in Belgrade in 1941, establishing the friendship between the gregarious Blacky and the more intellectual Marko during a drunken, late-night musical procession that establishes the riotous tone to follow. Fellow members of the Communist Party, the friends also share an involvement in shady business activities and an attraction for a beautiful actress. Soon, the chaos of World War II forces them to take refuge in an underground shelter with a variety of other townspeople. Years pass and the war ends, but Marko and the actress trick the others into believing that the war is still going on. Kusturica turns this inherently absurd premise into a vibrant portrait of the contradictory, foolish nature of war. Winner of the Palme d'Or at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, the film received great acclaim on the festival circuit but had a hard time securing a release in the United States. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

Black Cat, White Cat

a k a Chat Noir, Chat Blanc; Crna Macka, Beli Macor

1998-France/Germany/Yugoslavia-Slapstick/Farce/Comedy of Errors
N.Y. Times Review by Janet Maslin



Bosnian-born filmmaker Emir Kusturica made this farce, set in a Gypsy settlement along the banks of the Danube, where three generations of characters burst forth in manic and frenetic displays of charm, confusion, and chaos. Garbage dump godfather Grga Pitic (Sabri Sulejman) and cement czar Zarije Destanov (Zabit Memedov), both in their 80s, remain friends even though they haven't seen each other in 25 years. Zarije's son Matko Destanov (Bajram Severdzan) goes to Grga for a loan. Matko is double-crossed by his partner, gypsy gangster Dadan Karambolo (Srdan Todorovic), who demands that Matko's son, Zare Destanov (Florijan Ajdini), marry Dadan's small sister, Afrodita (Salija Ibraimova). Unfortunately, Afrodita and Zare have absolutely no interest in each other. Cute barmaid Ida (Branka Katic) and Zare fall in love and only have eyes for each other as plans get underway for the wedding of Zare and Afrodite. The sudden death of Zarije seems to offer a solution, since no gypsy would have a wedding and a funeral on the same day. However, Dadan delays the death announcement by hiding Zarije, packed in ice, in the attic. The wedding celebration gets underway amid numerous madcap mishaps and misadventures. With a soundtrack of gypsy music and songs, the funny film features numerous non-professionals in the cast. Shown in competition at the 1998 Venice Film Festival and at the 1998 New York Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, All Movie Guide

Jagoda U Supermarketu

a k a Strawberries in the Supermarket


Type: Features
Distributor: Emir Kusturica
Running Time: 83 Minutes

Starring: Branka Katic, Srdjan Todorovic, Dubravka Mijatovic, Danilo Lazovic, Goran Radakovic
Directed by: Dusan Milic



Dusan Milic's hostage film Jagoda in the Supermarket stars Branka Katic in the title role. She is a 30-year-old cashier who, after seeing someone else steal the man she wanted to date, makes the mistake of refusing to sell an elderly woman some strawberries. The next day the woman's grandson, Marko (Srdjan Todorovic), walks into the store firing weapons and taking hostages. Eventually the relationship between Jagoda and Marko deepens and grows more complex. Jagoda in the Supermarket was screened at the Berlin Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide

Goran Paskaljevic


2006 The Optimists Director
2004 Midwinter Night's Dream Screenwriter / Director / Producer
1998 Bure Baruta Director / Producer / Screenwriter
1995 Someone Else's America Director
1992 Tango Argentino Director
1990 Vreme Cuda Director
1987 Andjeo Cuvar Director / Producer / Screenwriter
1984 Varljivo Leto '68 Director
1983 Twilight Time Director / Screenwriter
1980 Poseban Tretman Director / Screenwriter

The Optimists

a k a Optimisti

2006-Serbia and Montenegro




Filmmaker Goran Paskaljevic spins five tales of life in post-millennium Serbia in this provocative omnibus combining elements of comedy and drama. First, a hypnotist arrives in a small village that has been leveled by floods. The mesmerist offers his services to the community, but the residents are suspicious of his motives. Next, a woman is sexually assaulted by the man who owns the firm where she works. Her father is also employed by the same man, but when he seeks revenge, he realizes how powerless he is in this situation. In episode three, a young man loses the money earmarked for his father's funeral in a gambling spree. Desperate to win it back, he turns to an elderly woman who has been enjoying remarkable luck at the slot machines. Part four concerns a doctor who is called to examine the son of a man who operates a slaughterhouse. The boy has developed a dangerous enthusiasm for bloodshed, but the doctor doesn't realize the full ramifications of the boy's attitude until he escapes his family's home. And finally, a confidence man promising new health to a group of ailing and elderly people leaves them stranded in the middle of nowhere en route to taking the cure. Optimisti (aka The Optimists) received its North American premiere at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Bure Baruta

a k a Cabaret Balkan; The Powder Keg

1998-France/Yugoslavia/Greece/Macedonia-Urban Drama
N.Y. Times Review by Stephen Holden

When one character in "Cabaret Balkan" bitterly describes Belgrade as a hemorrhoid, he isn't joking. The movie, directed by the Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic, is a "La Ronde"-like series of brutal confrontations, all taking place on the same frigid winter night in 1995 on which frustrated residents of the city humiliate and murder one another. The scenes, introduced "Cabaret"-style by a smirking, androgynous master of ceremonies, portray a society so at odds with itself it is on the verge of committing mass suicide. Powerfully acted, but brutal, depressing and deeply misanthropic, "Cabaret Balkan" is not for the squeamish. — Stephen Holden, The New York Times

Best Foreign Film (nom) - - 1999 National Board of Review



Ljubisa Samardzic

2004 Goose Feather

Jesen Stize, Dunjo Moja

2004-Serbia and Montenegro
2003 Ledina Director
2000 Nebeska Udica Director / Producer
1999 Tockovi Actor / Producer
1997 Jugofilm Actor: Bora
1996 Ubistvo S Predumisljajem Actor / Producer
1994 Kazi Zasto Me Ostavi Actor: Rabe
1988 Kuca Poreo Pruge Actor: Stanisha
1987 Andjeo Cuvar Actor: Dragan
1986 Anticasanova Actor


a k a Bare Ground



Belgrade circa 1995 was not an easy place to live, but one Serbo-Croatian family gets by as best they can in director Ljubisa Samardzic's second directorial effort, Ledina (Bare Ground). Petar (Nikola Nikic) lives with his Serbian father (Dragan Bjelogrlic) and Croatian mother (Ksenija Pajic) in a very ethnically mixed neighborhood on the outskirts of Belgrade. All of their neighbors harbor various beliefs regarding this diversity, based on numerous personal experiences that tend to inflame intense emotional -- and oftentimes physically brutal -- responses. Within weeks, Slobodan Milosevic will sign the Dayton Peace Accords, which many citizens hope will bring peace to the country. The reality, however, is much more harsh, as Petar learns first-hand the extent of distrust and rampant racism that permeate throughout his neighborhood. ~ Ryan Shriver, All Movie Guide

Starring: Nikola Nikic, Dragan Bjelogrlic, Ksenija Pajic
Directed by: Ljubisa Samardzic



a k a Wheels

1999-Yugoslavia-Black Comedy/Political Satire/Psychological Thriller


Serbian cartoonist turned director Djordje Milosavljevic creates this darkly comic psychological thriller that makes subtle references to the political madness of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Nemanya (Dragan Micanovic) leads a normal life with a steady job and a fiancée, until he is waylaid by a sudden downpour in a seedy hotel called The Wheel. The hotel is populated by seemingly upstanding citizens, until the Nemanya is accused of being the notorious Laughing Monster, a serial killer who has been terrorizing the neighborhood. Nemanya is forced to fend off increasingly violent and bizarre attacks from the hysterical, xenophobic locals until events turn truly horrific. Milosavljevic deftly creates a tone of intense fear while exploring the individual capacity for violence and the banality of evil. Tockovi was screened at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide


Ubistvo S Predumisljajem

a k a Premeditated Murder

1996-Serbia and Montenegro-Romantic Drama/Political Drama/War Drama


Set during the Belgrade anti-war student demonstrations of 1992, and based upon a novel by Slobodoan Selenic, this Serbian drama uses the parallel romantic tales of two generations of Serbian to comment upon and compare the brutality inherit in Milosevic's regime to that of Tito's with the point that the former is equal to or even worse than the latter. Builka is photographing participants in the demonstrations for her hip young publisher when she discovers Bogdan, a Serbian soldier with a broken leg who has been unable to get much help at the hospital. This is because he was born in a Croatian village. But despite his birthplace, Bogdan hates the Croats because they commandeered his ancestral home. Builka, who simply hates war, kindly takes Bogdan home and ministers him. She listens to his naïve, hateful rhetoric and counters it with a more logical pacifistic view. The two continue sparring and eventually they fall in love. Unfortunately, love is not stronger than Bogdan's sense of patriotism and he is again lured to the battle fields. While her relationship with Bogdan blossoms and fades, Builka runs across the WW II era diaries of her grandmother Jelena, a wealthy young woman whose country estate was seized by Tito's followers. Her step-father is then tossed in prison. To help get him out, Jelena cozies up to the brutal partisan leader Krsman, a man she simultaneously loathes and feels attracted to. When she also gets involved with her step-brother she invites tragedy. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide




Published: March 15, 1987, Sunday

LEAD: IF ''Hey Babu Riba'' seems like an odd title for a movie from Yugoslavia, that's the point. Along with other American big-band numbers of the early 1950's, this ditty is a favorite of beautiful girl whom they call Esther in homage to Esther Williams -whose adventures are here related. What makes the movie, which will be shown at the Museum of Modern Art tonight at 6 and tomorrow at 8:30 P.M., much more interesting than a Serbian variation of ''Stand by

IF ''Hey Babu Riba'' seems like an odd title for a movie from Yugoslavia, that's the point. Along with other American big-band numbers of the early 1950's, this ditty is a favorite of beautiful girl whom they call Esther in homage to Esther Williams -whose adventures are here related. What makes the movie, which will be shown at the Museum of Modern Art tonight at 6 and tomorrow at 8:30 P.M., much more interesting than a Serbian variation of ''Stand by Me'' is its political perspective.

Set in Belgrade in 1953, when Yugoslavia was in the throes of breaking away from the Soviet camp, ''Hey Babu Riba'' focuses on a once-privileged set that has found itself in difficulties under the Tito regime. Esther's father is a former Royalist officer who has fled to Italy; her mother is languishing for want of streptomycin. The father of one of her friends is in jail; another, a doctor, has been put out of business by socialized medicine. All are selling off cherished possessions to eke out an existence, and their ''surplus living space'' is being occupied by Communist Party favorites.

The director, Jovan Acin, was born in Belgrade in 1941, and his screenplay, drawn in part from his own memories, is about a generation entranced by American popular culture, from Glenn Miller to Levis, and by a Western spirit of freedom as well. Esther's boyfriends listen to the Voice of America, perform a zippy version of Miller's ''American Patrol,'' kid around in English and despise all things Russian. They mock the ''comrades'' who are battening on the downfall of their parents. When they defeat a group of party types in a rowing competition, it's a victory for their class.

Although some of the events seem a little disjointed and the effort to tie up loose ends grows strained, the movie is alive with the energies of an unsettling period and the unsettled young. The foursome's loss of virginity, though a convention of rite-of-passage movies, is handled most amusingly. Esther's pregnancy is a more serious matter. The question is, by whom?

The young protagonists are amiable if a bit colorless. More flavorsome performances come from characters churned up by the postwar changes: a woman known as the vulture, who goes about trading nylons and powdered milk for the pianos and music boxes of the once-rich and as a sideline initiating their offspring into sex and cigarettes; a conscientious official who tries earnestly to persuade Esther to get her father to collaborate with the regime, and, especially, a rapacious apparatchik named Rile (Milan Strljic), a handsome blackguard who falls for Esther and is unscrupulous in his pursuit. One of the movie's good jokes is that Rile, ever on the make, had his wrists tattoed with pictures of Stalin and Lenin just before the break with Moscow; now he wears wristbands and is taking a crash course in English instead of Russian.

Incidentally, if you've been dying to hear ''Comin' Round the Mountain'' sung in Serbo-Croatian, here's your chance. GROWING PAINS - HEY BABU RIBA, directed by Jovan Acin; screenplay (Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles) by Mr. Acin, from the memories of Petar Jankovic, George Zecevic and Mr. Acin; photography by Tomislav Pinter; edited by Snezana Ivanovic; music by Zoran Simjanovic; produced by Dragoljub Popovic and Nikola Popovic; production companies, Avala Film and Inex Film. At Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1, Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53d Street, as part of the New Directors/ New Films Series.

Running time: 109 minutes. This film has no rating. Esther...Gala Videnovic Glen...Relja Bacic and Nebojsa Bakocevic Sacha...Marko Todorovic and Dragan Bjelogrlic Kica...Srdjan Todorovic and Milos Zutic Pop...Djordje Nenadovic and Goran Radakovic Rile...Milan Strljic and Dragomir Bojanic-Gidra



Dusan Makavejev

Director/Screenwriter: October 13, 1932 - Belgrade, Yugoslavia

From All Movie Guide: Dusan Makavejev, the most prominent director in new Yugoslav cinema is internationally recognized for his passionate, daring films that blend fiction with reality, and drama with humor. Many of these films contain experimental elements and were considered controversial for their eroticism and sharp criticism of Eastern European politics. He began making short films during the '50s just after he studied psychology at Belgrade University; he then went on to become active in several film societies and festivals while studying direction at the Academy for Radio, Television, and Film. He continued making shorts and documentaries for both Zagreb and Avala studios until the early '60s. His interest in documentaries can still be see in his later fictional features. His first three features, Man Is Not a Bird (1966), Love Affair (1967), and Innocence Unprotected (1968), won him international acclaim. In 1971, his fictionalized chronicle of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (#WR: Mysteries of the Organism} was immediately banned in Yugoslavia for its political-sexual content. The film also resulted in Makavejev's exile until the late '80s. This did not stop him from making films. In 1974, he made Sweet Movie in Canada. The film was so violent and sexually explicit, that it was considered pornographic in many countries and banned. Makavejev's only real commercial success was his 1981 film Montenegro. In 1988, he finally returned home where he made Manifesto, a political farce that has not been widely seen on the international market. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

1996 Danske Piger Viser Alt
a k a Danish Girls Show Everything
1996-Denmark-Sexuality/Film & Television History/Media Studies
1995 A Hole in the Soul   Type: Documentary
a k a Rupa u Dusi
1995-UK-Biography/Military & War/World History/Film & Television History
1992 Gorilla Bathes at Noon Director
1989 Manifesto Director / Screenwriter
1985 The Coca-Cola Kid Director
1981 Montenegro Director / Screen Story / Screenwriter
1974 Sweet Movie Director / Screenwriter
1971 WR: Mysteries of the Organism Director / Screenwriter
1968 Nevinost bez Zastite Actor / Director / Screenwriter
1967 Ljubavni Slucaj ili Tragedija Sluzbenice P.T.T. Director / Screenwriter


Goran Markovic

2003 Kordon Director
2001 Serbie, Annee Zero Director / Producer / Screenwriter
1995 Urnebesna Tragedija Director
1993 Tito and Me Director / Producer / Screenwriter
1987 Vec Vidjeno Director / Screenwriter
1985 Tajvanska Kanasta Director
1981 Variola Vera Director / Screenwriter
1981 Majstori, Majstori Director / Screenwriter
1979 Nacionalna Klasa Do 785 CM3 Director / Screenwriter
1977 Specijalno Vaspitanje Director / Screenwriter
1969 Nedelja Actor: Second Pal


a k a The Cordon

2003-Serbia and Montenegro-Psychological Drama/Political Drama


Yugoslavian filmmaker Goran Markovic directs the psychological drama The Cordon. Set in Belgrade over Easter weekend in 1997, the film involves a group of policemen who respond to the city's political turmoil. Due to the overthrow of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, violence and protests have erupted all over the city. Patrolling the streets in a bus driven by Uros (Ratko Tankosic), the unit consists of Crni (Dragan Petrovic), Dule (Nikola Duricko), Kole (Nebojsa Milovanovic), and Seljak (Nenad Jezdic). They are led by commanding officer Dragon (Marko Nikolic), who isn't entirely sure what to do himself. Throughout their weekend-long shift, each man battles with his own personal problems as the political tension escalates. The Cordon won the top prize at the 2003 Montreal World Film Festival. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide


Urnebesna Tragedija

a k a The Tragic Burlesque

1995-France/Bulgaria-Black Comedy/Tragi-comedy


This black comedy is the latest from Goran Markovic, a life-long resident of Belgrade whose last film Tito and Me (1992) was the last film ever made in Yugoslavia. This black comedy masks tragic undertones as it tells the tale of the head of a Belgrade mental asylum known only as the Doctor as he tries to return his loony patients to their families after his hospital runs out of supplies. He and his patients set off across the city and the Doctor is dismayed to learn that few of their families want them back. During the journey, an old man and woman fall in love and the other patients marry them in a gay, slightly crazed ceremony. Fortunately for the bride, the groom still has family and land. Unfortunately his two grown sons don't realize that their father is coming. When he and his bizarre entourage suddenly arrive, much fighting ensues. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide

Tito and Me

a k a Tito And I; Tito Et Moi; Tito I Ja

1993-France/Yugoslavia-Satire/Political Satire
N.Y. Times Review by Vincent Canby


Goran Markovic's semi-autobiographical Tito and Me is the story of a 10-year-old named Zoran (Dimitrie Vojnov), who is growing up in Belgrade in 1954. Zoran is obsessed with Yugoslavia's dictatorial leader, "Comrade Tito," and over the course of the film, the young boy learns that worshipping idols is a naive, foolhardy practice. Tito and Me is the last film to be made in Yugoslavia before the country was torn apart by a civil war in the early '90s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Movie Guide

Vec Vidjeno

a k a Déjà Vu



In this downbeat drama, which won the Yugoslavian national film award in 1987, no one escapes the sufferings of the previous generation. In the story, Mihalo started out in life as a piano prodigy, but the agony his family went through when he was a youth dried his creative juices up entirely: his father was sentenced to death by a revolutionary court and his mother attempted suicide. Now he is a middle-aged man who teaches music and piano at an adult education center. His bleak existence is briefly uplifted by the unexpected attentions he receives from a lovely young girl who has problems of her own. She is only using a sexual/romantic connection with him to escape her family's ills. Her features and manner remind him of his beloved aristocratic mother. Soon a series of events drives him right over the edge and he winds up committing some horrible crimes of his own, which traumatize the next generation. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

Tajvanska Kanasta

a k a Taiwan Canasta



In a socio-psychological look at Sasa (Boris Komenic), an unemployed architect increasingly out of synch with the times, director Goran Markovic has created an interesting commentary on both a generation gap and a few gaps in the younger generation. Sasa tends to sleep around with just about any woman, though his most steady interest is a young art student half his age (Gordana Gadzic). His sexual exploits get him into trouble more than once, the porno mobiles he makes for a living get him into trouble with the police, and now he has been duped into working on some half-baked blueprints for his new, shady bosses. They have a scheme to make a mint on some dubious high-rises. The ideals that fired up Sasa at the end of the '60s seem to have wilted on the vine, and now he is faced with some heavy-duty searching of his own weakened conscience as he considers where he is now, and where he was in 1968. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

Variola Vera

1981-Yugoslavia-Disaster Film/Medical Drama


A Yugoslavian tourist in Africa buys a flute from a very sick man at a bazaar, unwittingly picking up the dread disease of smallpox in the process. When the tourist passes through the controls at Belgrade airport, he is already feeling the effects of the sickness and ends up in a ward at a hospital while the doctors try to diagnose his condition. The chief doctor misdiagnoses the man's illness and as a consequence, the smallpox spreads like wildfire -- to the little boy in a bed near him, to an unfortunate plumber, to the nursing staff -- and he dies before these others also succumb, within a matter of hours. The doctor who guessed wrong about the man's condition locks himself up in his office for protection and injects himself with serum as a safety measure. Meanwhile, after much bumbling along, the place is quarantined and the World Health Organization has someone arrive in a space suit to decontaminate the hospital and end the epidemic. Though what has happened to the flute that started the deaths? Some remaining scenes clue the viewers in to this unsettling question. (The premise of this 1982 film is fictional -- the World Health Organization formally announced the world-wide eradication of smallpox in 1980.) ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

Majstori, Majstori

a k a Would You Believe It



In just one 24-hour period, the workers and students at a Czech school are thrown into an upheaval because of a few disconnected events. The housekeeper/custodian at the school is retiring and since everyone found out rather late, a hasty retirement party is being put together at the last minute. Amidst the frenzied activity of preparations, an inspector is wandering here and there to check out accusations of sexual harassment against the assistant director. The protagonists are hard-put to pull off a successful party, and they resolve the accusations before the school comes apart at the seams. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

Nacionalna Klasa Do 785 CM3

a k a National Class



In Yugoslavia, a tiny little car (a Fiat) enables its driver to slip through traffic and filch parking places with ease. In this comedy, the Fiat's driver is preoccupied by two things: girls, and an upcoming drag race. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

Specijalno Vaspitanje

a k a Special Education



A quite young boy, whose mother is a prostitute and who has turned to stealing in order to survive, is caught and sent to a juvenile detention home in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. There, he finds a friend in a nearly mute older boy, and in the new and empathetic instructor who is in charge of both of them. The spunky lad continues stealing on the sly. The teacher feels that occasional thefts are a price that must be paid, for in order to keep open communication with the boys, he gives them an unusual amount of freedom. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide

Kajmak in Marmelada

a k a Cheese and Jam

2003-Slovenia-Romantic Comedy


In this charming but off-kilter comedy, Bozo (Branko Djuric, who also wrote and directed the movie) is a scruffy but well-meaning loser from Bosnia who goes into an emotional tailspin after his Slovenian girlfriend, Spela (Tanja Ribic), gives him his walking papers. Determined to win her back, Bozo wants to prove that he can support her both emotionally and financially, and toward the latter goal, he starts working with his pal Goran (Dragan Bjelogrlic), who fixes Bozo up with a number of dubious jobs, from impersonating famous cartoon characters to transporting illegal aliens across the border. In time, Spela takes Bozo back, but he starts having second thoughts about their relationship when she finds out Goran has been paying her money to let him look at her naked. Kajmak in Marmelada proved to be a massive box-office success in Slovenia, where it became the biggest homegrown box-office success of all time, and the third top-grossing film overall. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide


No Man's Land

2001-Belgium/France/Italy/UK/Slovenia-Black Comedy/War Drama/Political Satire/Anti-War Film
N.Y. Times Review by Stephen Holden
  Critic's Pick



This devastating anti-war film, set in the Balkans, is a dark comedy with a difference. Two wounded soldiers, one a Bosnian, the other a Serb, are trapped together in a trench (no man's land) between enemy lines. A third soldier (a Bosnian), presumed dead, regains consciousness, but cannot be moved because a deadly mine was slipped under his body. What to do? As the soldiers squabble like schoolyard children, United Nations rescue workers and a global television network, each with its own twisted agenda, become involved. This beautifully written, directed and acted slice of absurdism punches you in the stomach. — Stephen Holden, The New York Times


Best European Actor (nom) - Branco Djuric - 2001 European Film Academy
Best European Screenplay (win) - Danis Tanovic - 2001 European Film Academy
Best Foreign Language Film (nom) - - 2001 Broadcast Film Critics Association
Best Foreign Language Film (win) - - 2001 Golden Globe
Best Screenplay (nom) - Danis Tanovic - 2001 French Academy of Cinema
Best First Film (win) - Danis Tanovic - 2001 French Academy of Cinema
Best Foreign Language Film (win) - - 2001 L.A. Film Critics Association
Best Foreign Language Film (win) - Danis Tanovic - 2001 Academy
Best Screenplay (win) - Danis Tanovic - 2001 Cannes Film Festival
Best Foreign Film (nom) - - 2001 National Board of Review


Aleksandar Petrovic

Screenwriter/Director/Composer (Music Score)/Producer/Cinematographer: January 14, 1929

From All Movie Guide: Yugoslavian director Aleksandar Petrovic was one of his country's most prominent filmmakers during the 1960s. His best-known films are Tri (Three), which earned the highest award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in 1965, and Skupljaci Perja (I Even Met Some Happy Gypsies), which won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 1967. Petrovic got his start as a film critic following graduation from Belgrade University. His writings on cinema made him one of Yugoslavia's most respected film critics during the '50s. He then directed a few documentaries. Petrovic made his feature-film directorial debut with Dvoje (When Love Is Gone) (1961). This and his subsequent film, Dani (Days) (1963), were heavily influenced by French New Wave and heralded the dawning of the "Black Wave" in Yugoslavian cinema. Following the success of Skupljaci Perja, Petrovic began having difficulty with his government. It began when governmental officials took offense with his adaptation of Bulgakov's novel Majstor i Margarita (The Master and Margarita) (1972), calling the film a direct assault against communism. In 1973, Petrovic was forced to leave his post at the Belgrad Film Academy because of the scandal surrounding the film Plastic Jesus, which was made by his protégé, Lazar Stojanovic. Though he would continue on to make two more films, one of them in France, Petrovic's promising career was over. ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide


1991 Slomjena Mladost Producer
1981 Banovic Strahinja Screenwriter
1977 Gruppenbild mit Dame Director / Screenwriter
1972 The Master and Margaret Director / Screenwriter
1971 Putovanje Na Mjesto Nesrece Cinematographer
1969 Bice Skoro Propast Sveta Director / Composer (Music Score) / Screenwriter
1967 Skupljaci Perja Director / Composer (Music Score) / Screenwriter
1965 Tri Director / Screenwriter
1965 Dani Director
1961 Dvoye Director / Screenwriter


Skupljaci Perja

a k a Happy Gypsies; I Even Met Happy Gypsies; Sreo Sam Cak I Sreene Cigane

N.Y. Times Review by Renata Adler


The Yugoslavian leading man Bekim Fehmiu plays a charismatic but mean-spirited gypsy, married to the submissive woman (Olivera Vuco). The gypsy couple's various escapades end up in a desperate flight from the Law. The authenticity of I Even Met Happy Gypsies is amplified by the use of genuine Gypsy melodies on the soundtrack; in addition, the film was shot in a near-extinct Gypsy language called Romany, requiring the film to carry subtitles even when released in Yugoslavia. I Even Met Happy Gypsies was the recipient of an award at the Cannes Film Festival, and was later nominated for a "best foreign picture" Academy Award. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


Best Foreign Film - Foreign Language (nom) - - 1968 Golden Globe
Best Foreign Language Film (nom) - - 1967 Academy
Special Jury Grand Prix (win) - - 1967 Cannes Film Festival


Banovic Strahinja

a k a The Falcon

1981-Yugoslavia/West Germany


This tale of love, betrayal, religion, and massacre has long been a staple of Yugoslavian historical legends, and it centers around the strong, uncomplicated hero of the title Banovic Strahinaj otherwise known as the "Falcon" (Franco Nero). Towards the end of the 14th century, fighting broke out between the Serbs and the Ottoman Turks, one of many epochs of conflict between these two groups of people. When he was away from his chores in a castle, Banovic's wife was abducted by Turkish brigands who tricked their way into the castle and killed all others inside. Desperate to rescue his wife from captivity, he finds that neither her father nor her brothers are interested in saving her -- she has undoubtedly dishonored Banovic by now and should, therefore, face the same fate as her mother for the same offence -- her eyes should be burned out by a branding iron. Determined to get her back, Banovic makes two raids into the enemy territory, one fails but on the second attempt, he is able to engage the Turkish chief in fierce, hand-to-hand combat, finally killing him off and successfully bringing his wife back home. Once he gets back to the castle, he finds he is not able to punish his wife as law demands -- though his dilemma is put in perspective in the face of the Turkish attack on June 15, 1389, in the historic battle of Kosovo plain. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide


The Master and Margaret

a k a Il Maestro e Margherita; Majstori i Margerita; The Master and Margarita

1972-Italy/Yugoslavia-Political Satire


This strident Yugoslavian/Italian film is a very uneven adaptation of a small portion of the famous and much-loved whimsical novel The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulghakov. It attempts to deal only with the Moscow portion of the novel. Even so, it was a brave attempt to film the unfilmable, and uses animation and other techniques to portray the more fantastic aspects of the story. In the film, which lovingly recreates the Moscow of the 1920s, the Master (Ugo Tognazzi) is a playwright. He is attending the dress rehearsal for his play, which is being performed over the objections of everyone involved, except for his girlfriend Margarita (Mimsy Farmer) and Professor Woland (Alain Cluny). He grows frantic when he discovers that the Professor is actually the Devil (the actual supernatural being, not just a very bad man). The Master tries to warn people but is committed to an insane asylum for his pains. At the play's premiere, the Professor uses his magical powers to add terrifying special effects which send the audiences screaming out of the theater. The film makes many guarded references to the persecution (past and present) of artists under communism. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide



CIDALC Pirze (win) - Aleksandar Petrovic - 1972 Venice International Film Festival


Slobodan Sijan


1988 Secret Ingredient Director
1984 Davitelj Protiv Davitelja Director / Screenwriter
1983 Kako Sam Sistematski Unisten Od Idiota Director / Screenwriter
1982 Maratonci Trce Pocasni Krug Director
1980 Ko To Tamo Peva Director

Ko To Tamo Peva

a k a Who's That Singing Over There?

1980-Yugoslavia-War Drama


Also known as Who's That Singing Over There?, this bittersweet 1980 comedy was released in its native Yugoslavia as Ko To Tamo Peva. The time is 1941: a crowded bus travels over unpaved Yugoslavian terrain. In the manner of Stagecoach, the audience comes to know and grow fond of the various passengers: the lovers, the politician, the eccentrics, etc (each character is played by a well-known Yugoslav movie personality). The film's genial mood is unexpectedly shattered when a Nazi bomb scores a direct hit on the bus. The only surviving passengers are a pair of travelling gypsy musicians--hence the film's title. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Maratonci Trce Pocasni Krug

a k a The Marathon Family



Sometimes handling the dead can be almost as difficult as handling the living, according to the Topalovic family and its many members -- from great-grandparents on down. They are losing ground in the fight to keep their cemetery business from going under and have had to make a clandestine alliance with n'er-do-well entrepreneurs that will supply them with recycled coffins at a cheap price -- an alliance that has kept the family in heavy debt to the grave-digging crooks. Meanwhile, young Mirko Topalovic has fallen in love with the daughter of one of the increasingly wealthy partners in the used coffin business. She works for a movie theater as a pianist (it is the era when silents are on the way out) and the owner of the theater has not yet fired her and switched to talkies because he wants her for himself. He suggests that they make a movie together -- an erotic movie he thinks to himself -- but seduction is his only goal. When Mirko starts to help out in this movie project, he comes to realize what is actually going on and overpowered by rage, he kills the woman and the theater owner. Puffed up with his aggressive deed, he goes home to convince the Topalovic family that they have to take up arms against the usurious grave-diggers -- and a wild and bloody melée ensues that will determine the fate of the family. Jelisaveta Sablic won the "Best Actress" award at the 1982 Pula Film Festival for her role as the sought-after female lead in this film. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

Kako Sam Sistematski Unisten Od Idiota

a k a How I Was Systematically Destroyed By An Idiot

1983-France/Yugoslavia-Political Drama


In this slightly abstruse film, especially for anyone not familiar with the revolutionary fervor among East European students in 1968, a revolutionary who idolizes Che Guevara and has his own small group of followers, comes up against a mass of students at a university demonstration. While an actor declaims lines spoken by Danton from a play on the French Revolution, the devoted Che disciple stands up and exhorts the students in his own rhetoric, leaving them confused. In the end, he falls to his death from a window, and another "revolutionary" dressed up as Karl Marx picks up the sheets of paper of Che's writings near the dead man and continues on his way. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

Davitelj Protiv Davitelja

a k a Strangler Vs. Strangler

1984-Yugoslavia-Black Comedy/Comedy Thriller


In this tongue-in-cheek horror film by Slobodan Sijan, a pudgy, overly sensitive street vendor sells red carnations to the public, mainly female, and is generally quite friendly -- unless someone ridicules his flowers; then he strangles them. He also has a "mum" at home that has never seen a good day in her life, and his crimes may go undetected because the police inspector is successful only by accident. Muddying the confusion is a second strangler with more than one maladjustment. Sijan has inserted filmic references to other horror movies -- such as the 1931 Frankenstein with Boris Karloff and from that same year, M with Peter Lorre -- for some extra zip in the action. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

Secret Ingredient

a k a Cognac



The daughter of a wealthy American entrepreneur is sent to a monastery on a remote Yugoslavian mountainside, where it is rumored the monks have developed an exquisite cognac recipe. The money-making American wants his daughter to get the recipe so they can market the spirits. Things complicate when she falls for a very good-looking monk. ~ All Movie Guide

cast for 'Secret Ingredient'

Brad Dexter -
Catherine Hicks - Ella
Gary Kroeger - Charles Lawrence
Jeff Corey - Colonel Frazier
Rick Rossovich -
Sam Wanamaker - Ambassador Morley
Velimir "Bata" Zivojinovic - Abdullah

   production credits

Slobodan Sijan - Director
Zoran Simjanovic - Composer (Music Score)
Zivko Zalar - Cinematographer
Thomas S. Byrnes - Executive Producer



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