“When reality has a different script from the one in your films, who wouldn’t invent a country to fool themselves?”
Cinema Komunisto traces the Yugoslav film industry, from the end of World War II and the start of the Communist regime, until the death of Marshall Tito, the country’s leader during that time. It examines the numerous propaganda and nationalistic movies made, which told the story of Yugoslavia to its citizens and the world. Behind these movies was the Avala Film Studios in Belgrade, Serbia, which was one of the largest movie studios in Europe at the time, and was state-funded by cine-file Tito.
Mila Turajlic, the film’s director, says on the film’s site, “How does a country choose the story to tell about itself? If I had to choose one word to describe growing up in a country that has changed names 4 times in the past fifteen years, it would be discontinuity. Destroying the past in the name of a new beginning has become the hallmark of our history, and each new break with the past requires it’s re-writing.”
She skillfully lets the movie’s main characters, legends of Yugoslav movie making, tell their own story of how Avala and the movies they made impacted the social concience of communist Yugoslavia. Weaving interviews of filmmakers and actors with incerpts of famous Yugoslav movies, allows for the viewer to see a candid behind and in front of the scenes look at what it was like making movies during the era.
The movie flows from one theme to the next flawlessly, keeping the viewer engaged the whole time. In a way, it was like watching a good suspense movie, where one can’t wait to see what will be shown next. Especially interesting were the stories of Hollywood and European movie legends gracing the sets, shores and scripts of Yugoslavia. One can’t help but feel enamoured with dreams of the past and of what could have been to Yugoslavia had there been a different outcome post-communism.
Director: Mila Turajlic
Fri, May 6th 6pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Sat, May 7th 4pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
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