Živojin Pavlović

Sog.: from the novel Legende e Po treći put by Antonije Isaković. Scen.: Živojin Pavlović. F.: Milorad Jakšić Fanđo. M.: Olga Skrigin. Scgf.: Dragoljub Ivkov. Int.: Milena Dravić (Milica), Ivica Vidović (Ive), Severin Bijelić (Zeka), Slobodan Aligrudić (Jotić), Pavle Vujisić (anziano del villaggio), Dragomir Felba (Topolovački), Marija Milutinović (Slavka), Mirjana Blašković (Milanka). Prod.: Aleksandar Radulović per FRZ – Filmska Radna Zajednica. 35mm. D.: 73’. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

If the question is, which Yugoslav auteur combines poetry and politics, human drama and radical aesthetics, in the most critical way, then the answer is Živojin Pavlović. The cinema of Pavlović is the place where all the most important characteristics of Yugoslav cinema meet: political conscience, existential depth, concern for the plight of the marginalised and dispossessed, an eclectic and poetic use of film language. He restores to political cinema its compassion and to poetic cinema its political conscience. Makavejev once said that it is because of Pavlović’s work that the New Yugoslav filmmakers received the epithet ‘The Black Wave’. His films indeed show us the bitterness of evil, in both its everyday and existential sense, but they more importantly carry the gift of hope and show the absolute necessity of preserving the good despite all tribulations. Zaseda is Pavlović’s fifth solo feature (seventh if we include his omnibus films with other directors) focusing on the story of young man Ive (Ivica Vidović) who is enchanted by communist ideals and wants to do his part in rebuilding society in the aftermath of the Second World War. The film takes place in a small town and shows his relationship a the young woman Milica (Milena Dravić) amid the massive restructuring of society by a flood of soldiers, civilians, and constant new arrivals. As the boundaries between right and wrong become blurred, the film shows us Ive’s drama that will culminate in a most vocal exposition of the truth. “And you are some revolution” – those are the film’s closing words. They represent not only a clear and firm declaration against injustice but an existential cry for the restoration of a lost humanity. Based on two short stories of Antonije Isaković and unanimously awarded The CIDALC Award at the Venice Film Festival in 1969 Zaseda is a wonderful work of pure cinema. It is a work committed to speaking and shouting: “Tell the truth!” It is a film which will wake you up – as a visual ambush of sorts – and leave you thinking, with the greatest quietness that will remain in your soul.

Mina Radović

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courtesy by Centar Film