For 32 years, Leka Konstantinovic was the personal film projectionist for Yugoslavian President and noted film enthusiast Josip Broz Tito. Tito's cinephilia is legendary, and includes such startling but charming anecdotes as his order to blow up a functioning bridge to achieve a more accurate shot for a film, or hiring out the entire nation's navy to serve as movie extras as part of their compulsory military service. But Marshal Tito's efforts were not mere caprice, rather part of a concerted effort to imbue the new postwar state of Yugoslavia with a mythic history and national image through the magic of the movies.
Comprised of interviews with Konstantinovic and other important figures in the brief but glowing history of Yugoslavian cinema, Cinema Komunisto examines the intersections and contradictions of image and reality in the process of 20th-century nation-building, while also satisfying cinephiles with a wealth of gorgeous archival footage from more than 60 classic films. Yugoslavian film production collapsed after Tito's death, along with the country itself, but both are briefly resurrected in this vibrant, fascinating celebration of a film industry—and a nation—that no longer exists.
- Best Documentary - Chicago IFF
- Best Documentary - Trieste FF
- FIPRESCI Best Documentary - Serbia FF
- Grand Jury Award - Alger IFF
- Best use of Archive Footage - Focal International Award
- Goran Kovacevic
- Aleksandra Milovanovic
- Nemanja Mosurovic
- DRIBBLING PICTURES
A brash, diverting (...) documentary that reveals how closely Yugoslavian cinema was tied to the Tito regime.
A nostalgic, poignant documentary, Cinema Komunisto, with its stunning archival footage, is fascinating and enlightening...and a must-see for film fans.
The fascinating and absorbing documentary Cinema Komunisto is a must for film fans...quite wonderfully tracks the history of former Yugoslavia through its cinema.
Critic's Pick! A documentary collage of 60 years of Yugoslavian film under Communist rule.
Excellent! A highly entertaining slab of social, political and cinematic history.
Growing up in a country that broke apart, I saw it lose its ability to narrate itself. For me documentary filmmaking shifts the challenge from telling history to preserving memory.
Mila Turajlic is a documentary filmmaker from Belgrade, Serbia. Her 2010 directorial debut, CINEMA KOMUNISTO, premiered at IDFA and Tribeca and won 16 awards including the Golden Hugo at Chicago IFF. CINEMA KOMUNISTO was released theatrically in France, UK and the former Yugoslavia. Mila’s second film THE OTHER SIDE OF EVERYTHING is HBO Europe’s first coproduction with Serbia. It launched at the 2017 Toronto IFF and won the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. She is an alumna of Eurodoc, Berlin Talent Campus, and Discovery Campus, and teaches at Archidoc and the Balkan Documentary Center. Turajlic has produced the Magnificent 7 Festival of European Documentary Films in Belgrade since 2005 and was the first president of DokSerbia, the association of Serbian documentary filmmakers she co-founded.