Variola Vera

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Variola Vera
Variola vera.jpg
Directed byGoran Marković
Produced byAleksandar Stojanović
Written byGoran Marković
Milan Nikolić
StarringRade Šerbedžija,
Erland Josephson,
Rade Marković
Distributed byArt Film 80
Release date
9 July 1982 (Yugoslavia)
9 September 1982 (IFFR)
11 July 1985 (Hungary)
Running time
110 min

Variola Vera is a 1982 Yugoslav film directed by Goran Marković. The subject of the film is the 1972 outbreak of smallpox in Yugoslavia, more specifically the events related to the epidemic and the subsequent quarantine at Belgrade's General Hospital. Although inspired by the real events, the movie features elements of horror.


The film follows the journey of a Kosovar pilgrim on his way back to Belgrade from the Middle East. While at a bazaar, the pilgrim buys a flute from a man who is visibly ill. Upon his return to Belgrade, the pilgrim starts to show signs of illness and is transported to the city's General Hospital. His disease is initially misdiagnosed and the smallpox virus starts spreading through the hospital very quickly. Once the disease is correctly identified, the authorities attempt to subdue the outbreak by declaring martial law, enforcing quarantine and enlisting the help of the World Health Organization. Eventually, these measures prove to be effective in subduing the epidemic.


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