The fall of the Serbian film industry

In many ways, we are lagging behind the rest of the world. The Serbian film industry has no obligation to rise above the current social situation since after all, it is also the product of such a society.

The last edition of the FEST has fully demonstrated the bad situation in the contemporary Serbian film production. This entity called Serbian film was the weakest part of the FEST programme, which is considered the biggest film festival in our country and which, as a whole, deserves a passing grade. Well, at least for what we saw on the big screen…

With the disappearance, be it from the film world or the world altogether, of the most important filmmakers like Zika Pavlovic, Sasa Petrovic, and Dusan Makavejev, not to mention Emir Kusturica, whose career is winding down, great directors like Paskaljevic, Goran Markovic, Purisa Djordjevic, Djida Karanovic and Misa Radivojevic, who have not been directing for a very long time, or Darko Bajic, Milos Radovic and Miroslav Lekic, who have not had any worthwhile films for quite some time now, or even Rasa Andric who simply disappeared from the film world, it is safe to say that the Serbian film production has been reduced to only a handful of good film directors.

These are Srdan Golubovic, who has been trying to launch a new project off ground for quite some time now, Vuk Rsumovic, who has directed one of the very few good films recently called “Nobody’s Child”, Oleg Novkovic, a director of unique style who showed us, with his film “Homeland”, that he definitely has something worthy to say, and maybe the newest, most agile film director, who is actually an actor by profession, Dragan Bjelogrlic.

We could also mention Miroslav Momcilovic, Milorad Milinkovic, and Goran Radovanovic. All of the aforementioned, who are mostly young directors and have only done a film or two so far, are probably going to show their worth on their upcoming projects, if there are any. These also include Vuletic, Vuckovic, the two Djordjevics, Milos, Filipovic, Beckovic (perhaps the biggest hope for Serbian film), Ikic, Lezaic and Kostic.

We should also add to this group the authors whose films were screened at this year’s FEST – Petar Pasic (“About Bugs and Heroes”), Lazar Bodroz (“Ederlezi Raising”) and the film master, Dejan Zecevic (“The Mavericks”). Unfortunately, none of these three films could be considered excellent. They are not bad, but they are definitely missing something.

FEST did them a great honour by allowing them to premiere at the festival and receive awards in front of 3,000 people (who mostly came to see Daniel Day-Lewis’ last ever performance). However, we also did them disservice by comparing them to the latest Hollywood films and those from our neighbouring countries.

The Hungarian film production is far ahead of ours, while the Romanian film is experiencing its Golden Age just like the Serbian film did at the time of Zika Petrovic, Makavejev, Zilnik, Djordjevic, Kusturica, Paskaljevic and Markovic. The Croatian film production is better than ours, the Greek also. It seems that money is not the most important thing! We are not capable of making a simple film like the Greeks did with ‘Amerika Square’ that was showcased at FEST, or Genovese’s film ‘The Place’ which takes place in just one location.

We are miles away from Milutin Petrovic’s low-budget masterpiece “Land of Truth, Love and Freedom”, which was filmed at the beginning of this century. It was very difficult to watch ‘The Mavericks’ without constantly thinking back to Zecevic’s cinematic hits from the beginning of his career, little masterpieces, and even his great films from student days.

As the antidote to the fledgling Serbian film production, we would like to mention some of the best films shown at the 46th FEST, as picked by our editors. Please note that their ranking does not correspond to their quality.

  • ‘The Shape of Water’, Guillermo Del Toro
  • ‘The Square’, Ruben Oestlund
  • ‘Racer and the Jailbird’, Michaël R. Roskam
  • ‘Insult’, Ziad Doueiri
  • ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, Martin McDonagh
  • ‘The Charmer’, Milad Alami
  • ‘Hitler’s Hollywood’, Rüdiger Suchsland
  • ‘You Were Never Really Here’, Lynne Ramsey

By Milojko Bozovic

(Blic, 08.03.2018)

Photo credits: SvetPlus


This post is also available in: Italiano

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