Josef (film)

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Directed by Stanislav Tomić
Produced by Jozo Patljak
Written by Mario Marko Krce
Starring Neven Aljinović Tot
Alen Liverić
Dražen Šivak
Sandra Lončarić
Music by Marko Perković
Distributed by Alka Film
Release date
Running time
90 minutes
Country Croatia
Language Croatian, German, Russian, Ukrainian
Budget 900.000 Croatian kuna (165.552 USD)

Josef is 2011 Croatian drama and war film directed by Stanislav Tomić depicting war story of Austrian-Hungarian Croat soldier during World War I in 1915 in Galicia.[1]

In the film, stress is given to effective photos, music, violence and sex.[2]

The film is written by Mario Marko Krce.

Opening song of the film, "Josef", is composed and played by Marko Perković.[3]

Critics were very positive. Critics especially praised costumes and scenography, even though film was produced with low budget and in an independent production.

The film won the Golden Arena for Best Special Effects at the 2011 Pula Film Festival.[4]


In 1915, during World War I in Galicia, Croatian soldiers serving in the Austro-Hungarian Army were sent on Eastern Front to fight against Russian Army and Circassian bandits. An Austrian-Hungarian soldier who has survived the battle, a Croat, takes uniform and identification tag from a dead NCO.[2] Later, the Croat and a group of Croatian and Hungarian deserters are captured by the Austrians led by Lieutenant Ali Tiffenbach. Before the Croat could be executed by firing squad with the rest of the deserters, he is mistaken for Zugsführer Josef, the dead NCO whose identification tag he's carrying. The Austrian Colonel decides to spare the Croat because Josef is well known as a regimental fencing champion, much to the disappointment of Lieutenant Tiffenbach, who suspects that the Croat is an impostor. Tiffenbach later confirms his suspicions when he easily defeats "Josef" in a sword duel.

Later, Tiffenbach's unit is attacked and obliterated by a group of Circassian bandits led by a Russian officer, Captain Seryoza. The Croat hides the severely wounded Tiffenbach in a shack and switches their uniforms, believing the bandits would spare him if he is dressed like an officer. However, the bandits kill the Croat the moment they see him. Tiffenbach, now wearing Josef's uniform and identification tag, is later found by a woman named Pelagija, who takes him to her cabin in the woods. Pelagija tends to Tiffebach's wounds for a few days but later betrays him to the Circassians in exchange for a horse.

Over the next few days, Tiffenbach and two other captured soldiers are physically tortured and forced to do heavy work in the Circassian camp. The Circassians join the regular Russian Army and Tiffenbach is thrown in a prison where he is left to starve. Soon the Austrian Army begins a great offensive, defeating the Russians and capturing their positions. Before the end of the battle, Captain Seryoza finds Tiffenbach and switches their uniforms, joining the Austrians. After the battle, the Austrians execute their prisoners, including Tiffenbach who is only half-conscious and unable to identify himself. Seryoza joins the Austrians as they return to their camp and takes a look at Josef's tag to see the name Josip Broz, implying that he would one day become Tito, the President of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.


Major roles[edit]

Actor Role
Neven Aljinović Tot An unnamed Croatian soldier, the first Josef impostor
Alen Liverić Lieutenant Ali Tiffenbach, the second Josef impostor
Dražen Šivak Captain Seryoza, the third Josef impostor
Sandra Lončarić Pelagija

Supporting roles[edit]

Božidarka Frajt
Ivo Gregurević
Bojan Navojec
Igor Hamer
Robert Ugrina
Hana Hegedušić
Tvrtko Jurić
Zorana Rajić
Dieter Schaad
Filip Šovagović
Milan Štrljić
Vid Balog
Draško Zidar
Viktor Goltz
Božidarka Freit
Anne Lise Maxiant
Marko Perković
Zorana Rajić
Nino Sorić
Tvrtko Jurić
Filip Pobran
Miroslav Bohin Isus
Antonio Farkaš
Šime Zanze
Tatjana Kandrač
Vanja Stojković

Theories about Tito's origin[edit]

  • The real Josep Broz was killed and replaced by a Russian agent in Soviet Russia.[5]
  • Tito was actually Jošua Ambroz Tito, Austrian Jew.

Such theories were inspiration for creation of this movie, but are not considered to have any significant historical basis.


  1. ^ Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 94. ISBN 978-1908215017. 
  2. ^ a b Polimac, Nenad. Thompson je preko filma ipak ušao u Arenu: Ratni triler 'Jozef' pun je nasilja, seksa, efektne fotografije i glazbe. Jutarnji list, 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-09-17 (Croatian)
  3. ^ Omerović, Arsen. Najbolje na kraju Pule – film "Josef" o Prvom svjetskom ratu. Večernji list, 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-09-17 (Croatian)
  4. ^ Šagovac, Mladen. Druga velika Zlatna arena za Tomislava Radića. Moj film, 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2011-09-17 (Croatian)
  5. ^ S. B. VIDEO / Tito je bio Rus: TOP 10 najluđih teorija zavjere Archived 2012-04-06 at the Wayback Machine.. 24 sata. 2010-01-24. Retrieved 2011-10-31 (Croatian)

External links[edit]