Partisan film

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Walter Defends Sarajevo, a 1972 partisan film, has a cult status in the countries of former Yugoslavia,[1][2] and was seen by 300 million Chinese viewers in the year of its release alone.[1]

Partisan film (Serbo-Croatian: Partizanski film) is the name for a sub-genre of war films, made in FPR/SFR Yugoslavia during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. In the broadest sense, main characteristics of partisan films are that they are set in Yugoslavia during World War II and have partisans as main protagonists, while antagonists are Axis forces and their collaborators.

Definition and scope[edit]

There are disagreements, even among the film critics, about the exact definition of the genre.[3] Partisan films are often equated solely with the populist, entertainment-oriented branch of the genre, characterized by epic scope, ensemble casts, expensive production, and emotionally intense scenes, all introduced into Yugoslav war films by Veljko Bulajić's Kozara (1962).[4][5] The other branch – much less interesting to the Communist establishment – was represented by modernist films, ranging from the poetic naturalism of the Yugoslav Black Wave to experimental stream-of-consciousness films.[5]

In his analysis of Fadil Hadžić's The Raid on Drvar (1963), Croatian film critic Jurica Pavičić identifies seven key characteristics of what he calls "super-Partisan films":[6]

  • Focus on crucial, well-known, "textbook" examples of Partisan struggle, such as major battles and operations, which are then given an officially sanctioned interpretation.
  • Absence of authentic, high-profile figures of Partisan struggle, with the exception of Josip Broz Tito. In Pavičić's view, the rationale for this was to avoid threatening the Tito's cult of personality.
  • Mosaic structure in which sometimes dozens of characters take part, and their fate is followed throughout the film. These characters represent different classes or walks of life (intellectuals, peasants), or different ethnicities.
  • Mixing of the comic with the tragic.
  • The presence of foreign (non-Yugoslav) characters as arbiters. Their role is to witness and verify the martyrdom and heroism of Yugoslav peoples as Partisan films depict them, sending a symbolical message ("There it is, the world acknowledges us as we are").
  • The characteristic treatment of the Germans: although they are portrayed as villains, and are demonized in various ways, they are also shown to be superior in power and discipline, and are depicted as an efficient, sophisticated, even glamorous adversary.
  • Deus ex machina endings, in which the Partisans break out of the seemingly hopeless situations.

Pavičić's analysis was criticized for not being universally applicable to Partisan films, and a number of notable exceptions to the above formula were provided.[7]

Notable films[edit]

Notable television series[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cabric, Nemanja (10 August 2012). "Documentary Tells Story of the 'Walter Myth'". balkaninsight.com. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  2. ^ Premec, Tina (8 February 2011). "Kultni film ‘Valter brani Sarajevo’ dobiva remake u seriji od 30 nastavaka". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  3. ^ Pavičić, Jurica (November 11, 2009). "Vrdoljak je radio najbolje partizanske filmove". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  4. ^ "Kozara". filmski-programi.hr. Croatian Film Association. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  5. ^ a b Šakić, Tomislav (2010). "Opsada, Branko Marjanović, 1956.". subversivefilmfestival.com (in Croatian). Subversive Film Festival. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  6. ^ Pavičić 2003, p. 13–14
  7. ^ Jovanović 2011, p. 51–54

Sources[edit]