Screening – Cinema Komunisto

Mila Turajlic’s film charts the rise and fall of Yugoslavia through the parallel fortunes of its extraordinary cinema industry, created by Tito to imbue the new post-war country with a mythic national self image.

Tito poured state resources into the Avala Studios, so that directors making war films had access to all the planes, ships and tanks in the Yugoslav arsenal; some soldiers spent their entire military service making movies. After Tito broke away from Russia, he courted Hollywood, attracting historical epics like Ghengis Khan and Marco Polo to Belgrade to what was now one of Europe’s largest studios.

Using a wealth of gorgeous archive from more than 60 of the classic films made at Avala Studios, Cinema Komunisto examines the intersections and contradictions of image and reality in the creation of a new nation in the 20th Century. Yugoslavian film production collapsed after Tito’s death, along with the country itself, but both are briefly resurrected in this vibrant, fascinating celebration of a film industry and a nation that no longer exists.

Directed by Mila Turajlic
2010
100 mins

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