Movie Red Wheat (1970.)

85 min

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A story about a former partisan and post-war youth activist with the task of organizing the cooperative farm in a remote Styrian village.

1970.

85 min

SD

Slovenia

Genre

Drama

Production

Viba film

Red Wheat

Satisfied with the reverberation of the movie The Enemy (Neprijatelj), at the Viba movie in Ljubljana they offered Živojin Pavlović a new project, and he decided to adapt the novel The Land and the Flesh (Na kmetih) by Ivan Potrč. The original template has undergone many changes, instead of a servant committing himself into a love affair with the landlady, the hero has become a young communist activist Južek (Šerbedžija) with the task of forcing the Styrian peasants into a cooperative in the first post-war years: he is housed in a rural farm which is run by a middle-aged Zefa (Potokar), while her husband (Zupan) is seriously ill and two daughters, paralysed Hana (Grbac) and the beautiful Tunika (Glonar) have not yet married. Južek falls in love with Tunika, but she is unavailable to him, so she begins an erotic relationship with Zefa, which will cost her husband his life. To satisfy Južek, Zefa joins the cooperative, however, the young man is bothered by her possessiveness. When he commits reckless homicide, he ends up in prison as do the "knuckles" that he vainly drove into the cooperative. It was Pavlović's first colour film, the suggestion of the title, Bloody Grain (Krvavo žito) was given by the poet Danijel Dragojević, who was later changed to Red Wheat (Rdece klasje). At first, the movie caused a political storm in Slovenia, never before was the period of collectivisation so brutally portrayed in the Yugoslav cinema, but Potrč was standing firmly by the director: everything silenced when the controversial performance returned from the Berlin festival with two awards, the Silver Bear for the best adapted screenplay and the CIDALC plaquette, to later win the Pula Film Festival, where Majda Potokar received the Silver Arena for the female role and Milorad Jakšić-Fanđo won the Golden Arena for the camera. Pavlović was later awarded also by the October Belgrade award. It was the director's first collaboration with Rade Šerbedžija, which will continue until his last film, The Deserter (Dezerter, 1992). Author: Nenad Polimac

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