Production year: 1969
Duration: 92 minute
A communist intellectual, Vjeko, travels from Zagreb to Banija, taking on the position of political commissary for a partisan squad. The squad members are primarily local Serbian peasants. Vjeko and commandant Gara, a local Serbian peasant, come into conflict at first, but over time find a common ground. Most commonly, disagreements in Banija are between local (Catholic) and Serbian (Orthodox) peasants. There are also some Muslims in this uneasy cultural blend. Vjeko tries to organize the partisan squad and become used to life in a rural area, but he misses his wife and home in Zagreb…
Boris Buzančić (Vjeko), Pavle Vuisić (Gara), Boris Dvornik, Ivica Vidović, Fabijan Šovagović, Branka Vrdoljak (Vjeko’s wife), Vanja Drach, Antun Nalis, Izet Hajdarhodžić, Branko Špoljar, etc.
Country of production:
Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia (Socialist Republic of Croatia/ Socialist Republic of Serbia)
Antun Vrdoljak (based on motives from Ratni dnevnik by Ivan Šibl)
This directing debut by Antun Vrdoljak marked a turning point in the genre of partisan films in Croatia and even outside of the country. It is based on the diaries of the former partisan general Ivan Šibl, and is characterized by its authenticity on all levels. Instead of mythical portrayals of the national liberation fights, it offers a realistic atmosphere that balances naturally between humor and tragedy. Outstanding actors further enriched a film that represents one of the key moments in the history of the Croatian partisan genre and Yugoslav cinema as a whole. Two years later, Vrdoljak made a sequel to this film, U gori raste zelen bor, which is equally good.
Awards: Pula 1969 - Golden Arena for Best Male Actor (Boris Dvornik together with the Most), Golden Arena for Best Cinematographer (Frane Vodopivec together with the film Događaj), VUS Magazine’s Jelen Award, Studio Magazine’s Zlatni Vijenac Award for Best Actor’s Debut (Antun Vrdoljak together with Boro Drašković and Želimir Žilnik)
Moscow 1969 - Big Silver Medal
Niš 1969 - Diploma Kula Ćele (2nd award) to Boris Dvornik
Screening permit: February 5, 1969
Note: Filmography of Yugoslav film from 1966 - 1970 cites also the Belgrade Service for organization of production and sale of films
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