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2 Votes (3.5)
Occupation, the 27th Picture (2013)
Okupacija, 27. slika (original title)
Documentary, 72 min
Production countries   Croatia,Czech Republic
Languages   Croatian,Czech
Director   Pavo Marinkovic
Scriptwriter   Pavo Marinkovic
Producer   Pavo Marinkovic
Plot keywords    
History, biography
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An adventurous political documentary by the Croatian director Pavo Marinković looking for an answer to the question how a film can influence human lives and change history.

We encounter the controversial Croatian film director Lordan Zafranović in his voluntary exile in Prague. The film follows his rise from a talented outsider to the celebrated Yugoslav director of the acclaimed war film, An Occupation in 26 Pictures, presented at Cannes Competition in 1979. His life story is an unconventional depiction of a rise and fall that reveals compromises made in order to survive artistically during communism, as well as the missed opportunities and miscalculations that led to his inability to adapt in later years. Is the charismatic Zafranović a national traitor or a victim of historical circumstances in which the only thing he wanted to do, in his own words, was to be himself and make films?

Director`s Statement

Why did I decide to make this film? When did I feel the initial spark which usually gives you the motivation and makes film directors enthusiastic about their projects? Every important motif usually lies in the present, although the present and how we feel about it surely has its roots in the past. I would have not been able to make this film 10 years ago, because I did not feel the motivations and dilemmas that film makers have to go through to be able to make their films.

The destiny of film director Lordan Zafranović is unique.  And such is his public image in Croatia. As a child I was raised in an anti-communist environment and I shared all the thoughts, sometimes even prejudices, against regime artists, not understanding dilemmas and internal fights they were fighting within themselves. Surely, they were not angels.  Artists often behave  outside moral borders, they often transgress them and their biographies are not often shown as examples of the moral purity. The dilemma was (and still is) – to work or not to work, to compromise or not to compromise. One obvious doubt was this: shall I earn political alibi and so buy myself freedom to do artistically what I want?  We should not forget, that film costs and large expenses make this kind of art quite different. For film making (contrary to painting or making music) you need money and support.

I also have my dilemmas. I fight with myself and often ask myself a question: do I always have to use moral and honest methods to achieve my goal? And I have failed so often using the "right methods". The temptation is really big. And should the artist be faithful to his morality, or should he be faithful to his art and forget about morality?

This dilemma exists not only in communism, it exists even now when film makers make alliances with politicians, with the media, and even with the audience trying to sell themselves by most populist methods. When does an artist start to be corrupted? 

I wanted to tell you a true story of a talented guy, of an overly-conscious ego, who has made a lot of wrong decisions, but who is, and stays, despite all of that – an artist.  His public image has been ruined, and dilemmas, which he had, exist everywhere, not only in art and movie making. These dilemmas are, at least I think so, universal.
Photos by Film Servis Festival Karlovy Vary.
Technical Specifications Image / Sound
Color / Black & White   Color
Sound format   Dolby Digital
Aspect ratio   16:9
Production format   HD
Production country
Official web site
» The Documentary Competition of Sarajevo IFF 2013
» The 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2013 Selection
Films of Pavo Marinkovic
Occupation, the 27th Picture
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