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1 - 29 February 2024: Innocence Unprotected: Reframing the World through Yugoslav Cinema

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Curated by Mina Radovic, this programme presents four milestone Yugoslav films of the 1960s, reframing our perception of rejection, community, creation, and love.


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And Love Has Vanished
Aleksandar Petrović, 1961, 98 min
UK premiere of the restored version

Introduced by Vlastimir Sudar

Aleksandar Petrović's first feature And Love Has Vanished follows Mirko and Jovana who accidentally meet each other and fall in love. In the spirit of the original title, Dvoje is neither a conventional romance nor a renegade tale but a beautiful and breath-taking work about the challenges of the world, and the true meaning of love. Nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes, the film features Beba Lončar in one of her first roles and the brilliant character actor Miha Baloh, whose encounter is only bolstered by the poetic cinematography of Ivan Marinček. And Love Has Vanished became an instant classic on its release, announcing Petrović's bold vision and launching the New Yugoslav Film.


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Do Not Mention the Cause of Death
Jovan Živanović, 1968, 92 min
UK premiere of the restored version

Introduced by Mina Radović

One of the main films targeted in critic Vladimir Jovičić's reproach of what he called “the black wave in our cinema”, Do Not Mention the Cause of Death is a portrait of a community in a Serbian village at the onset of the Second World War. A dyer wishes to provide black paint to everyone who loses a family member but as his loved ones and neighbours become suspect and the death toll grows, his supply begins to run dry. Through its use of colour, texture, and rhythm Do Not Mention the Cause of Death invites viewers to experience the nature of life threatened by oblivion. Combining in a rare turn socio-political critique and expression of faith the film is an anomaly of cinema and yet remains essential viewing, proof of the vitality of the Yugoslav Black Wave.


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Innocence Unprotected
Dušan Makavejev, 1968, 80 min
UK premiere of the restored version 

In 1943 acrobat Dragoljub Aleksić directed, wrote, shot, and starred in “the first Serbian talkie” and in 1968 Dušan Makavejev reconstructed his journey in a film bearing the same title. Blending free-form documentary and experimental filmmaking, Makavejev uses clips from Aleksić's previously unseen film, present-day interviews with the acrobat and co-stars and archival footage of his larger-than-life ventures – as well as the war and post-war reconstruction of Belgrade – to create a mosaic of an artist and his unlikely role in the history of a country. Winner of the Silver Bear Award of the Jury and FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlinale, Innocence Unprotected is one of Makavejev's most original works and his penultimate film made in Yugoslavia.


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Crows
Gordan Mihić, Ljubiša Kozomara, 1969, 76 min
UK premiere of the restored version 

Responsible for “writing” the Black Wave, master screenwriters Gordan Mihić and Ljubiša Kozomara directed only one feature film: Crows. Đuka is an ageing boxer struggling to make ends meet and, as he meets fellows as defeated as him, they decide to form a gang and begin to steal, cheat, and even kill for money. As the gang wanders through streets and crevices of rural towns, they begin to resemble the feathered friends of the film’s title. Led by Slobodan Perović in a marvellous performance and accompanied by a remarkable minimalist score by Zoran Hristić, Crows renders the fate of people on the margins of society and gives a distinctive voice to the rejected, despised, and dispossessed.


This programme is a collaboration with the Liberating Cinema UK and the Serbian Council of Great Britain, with films generously provided by Delta Video, Belgrade. More info: www.liberatingcinema.org.uk

Calendar

Title

Date

Time

Book

Innocence Unprotected Saturday 24.02.24 6:15 pm Book
Crows Thursday 29.02.24 8:15 pm Book