Yugoslavia: A Case Study

Freedom Film Festival Poster

Freedom Film Festival Poster by Wiktor Sadowski © American Cinema Foundation

Andrzej Wajda Freedom Prize

The Holloway File
Database of Russian and Ex-Soviet Union directors

A mini-marathon of European films, curated by ex-Yugoslav film critic Vera Mijojlic who also produced a short documentary, TITO ARCHIVES, which will screen throughout the day.

This year's case study is Yugoslavia, which ironically was once a showcase of inter--ethnic cooperation and tolerance. Belgrade's charismatic WWII leader Josip Broz Tito somehow managed to hold that fractious country together until his death in 1980, a critical year in German and American politics as well. Brief intros before each screening will provide the historical context. We look back at controversial, prize-winning films about the Tito era, a piece of European history that holds warnings for the present and future.

In the vein of the 2004 Freedom Film Festival program "Spirit of Sarajevo", this year's selection of films by the Tito era's quartet of groundbreaking ex-Yugoslav directors bookends the idealistic and passionate rise of communist Yugoslavia under the larger-than-life figure of Marshal Tito, and the country's staggering fall into the quagmire of ethnic conflict. From the painful disintegration of a dream to latter-day stingingly satirical toying with Tito's legacy, this retrospective also picks out four directors for their personal integrity and independent spirit - a rare commodity in the troubling decades of elastic morals and dubious ethics of post-Tito era, where robber baron-styled capitalism and an ultra-left version of socialism exist side by side, and ethnic hostilities and warfare continue to haunt the Balkans. –Vera Mijojlic, Program Curator

Film Schedule

Goethe Institut-Los Angeles
5750 Wilshire Boulevard
Admission free

Saturday May 21st from 2pm to 10pm
2:00pm - The Melody Haunts My Reverie,1981, directed by Rajko Grlic.
A young idealistic partisan war hero becomes a leader in the emerging socialist society, and finds adjustment to the "new Yugoslavia" extremely difficult. This was voted the third best Yugoslav film ever made. 103 min.

3:50pm - Tito Among the Serbs for the Second Time, 1993, directed by Zelimir Zilnik.
In this highly entertaining doc an actor dresses up as (the late) Marshal Tito, and walks among the crowds asking passersby their opinions of Yugoslavian politics since his death. 45 min.

4:30pm - Reception

5:00pm - Before the Rain,1994, directed by Milcho Manchevski.
Academy Award nominee, winner of 30 international awards including Best Film at Venice '94. Three interlocking stories that highlight the insane lengths to which men can be driven by belief and prejudice. Following the screening, a free reception will be available to all festgoers. 113 min.

7:00pm - Reception: Please join us for Balkan refreshments, music and a display of materials from and about the era of Marshal Tito.

8:00pm - Tito and Me, 1992, directed by Goran Markovic.
A warm and touching a satire about a 10 year old boy obsessed with Marshal Tito. 118 min.