Saturday, July 07, 2018

Cinema Kommunisto (2010)

What is it with dictators and movies? Stalin loved watching movies as did Hitler as did Mao as did Kim of Korea but the King of Movie Watching must have been Tito who as the leader of Yugoslavia watched nearly 9,000 films (his projectionist kept records). And still had time to repress his people. Very impressive!

This documentary is enjoyable and nostalgic (if you are Yugoslavian when Yugoslavia was a country!) look back at movie making during the reign of Tito and Communism. It ties film to Tito and looks at both subjects simultaneously. A few years after WWII ended the country built a huge movie studio called Avala. Film of course in dictatorships tends to be a combination of propaganda and entertainment and many of their initial films were about the Partisans killing Nazis. Later on they made their facilities available to the West and a lot of films were made there.

Unfortunately, at least as far as I am concerned is that the documentary tells you very little about specific films (with the exception of The Battle on the River Neretva) or directors so you come out of this knowing little more about Yugoslavian films then when you went it - but I quite enjoyed the clips of films and Tito. He was a better dictator than most of them. It is all gone now of course. Yugoslavia was divided into six nations, Avala is deserted and even Tito's old residence where he once watched movies every night is now in ruins.

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