Close Up

14 October 2019: One Woman – One Century


One Woman – One Century
Želimir Žilnik, 2011, 110 min

The story of centenarian Dragica Srzentić and of the intellectual and ideological maze of the eight states in which this Istrian-born woman has lived: Austria-Hungary, the Kingdom of Italy, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, the Independent State of Croatia, the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia, Croatia, and Serbia.

In view of Dragica Srzentić’s experiences as a member of the Yugoslav resistance during the Nazi occupation, her frequent uttered remark is more than a comment on her own longevity. One woman – one century: a personal account inseparable from the turbulent history of Eastern Europe during World War Two and the aftermath. The interviewee went underground, fled, got arrested and tortured, cheated death more than once. Yet her words resonate with humor and dignity rather than anger or sadness. Želimir Žilnik gives Srzentić’s stories time, supplementing them with footage of his subject’s journey to a parade in Moscow or inserting animated sequences that underscore her achievements.


Part of the 21st Century Žilnik survey, organised by Greg de Cuir Jr (Nonaligned Curator, Belgrade), with Dr Vana Goblot (Goldsmiths) and Matthew Barrington (Birkbeck), and with kind support from CHASE.


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