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A Day Longer Than a Year
In the Yugoslav cinema Branimir Tori Janković first tried his hand as an actor (of course, he studied acting at Belgrade's Academy), and then established himself as a screenwriter (acclaimed films Povratak ( The Return) by Živojin Pavlović and Pohod ( The Trek) by Đorđe Kadijević) and 1969 debuted as a director of the Krvava Bajka ( Bloody Tale), which was admitted to the official program of the festival in Karlovy Vary. Later, he mainly dealt with war themes, in Serbia and with the exception of Dan Duži od Godine ( A Day Longer Than a Year) from 1971, made in the production of Bosna Film. Janković's script is somewhat related to the one from Pavlović's Return because the protagonists are also people from the margins, who have spent time in prison. Moreover, the Day Longer Than a Year is the first explicitly prison film of Yugoslav cinematography, because it starts in the Banja Luka Penitentiary and shows what everyday life is like there. The characters are named after nicknames - Državni (Adem Čejvan), Lučara (Boro Begović), Metalac (Dragomir Bojanić Gidra) and others. Friendships among them are rare, the atmosphere is that of mistrust and homosexuality is mentioned. Some are extremely two-faced ( hypocritical), such as Rama Idrizovic (Miloš Kandić), who was granted temporary leave due to his sick child but has no intention of returning to prison. Janković's inventive joke is to combine the genre of prison film with the film of catastrophe, so the story takes place in 1969, when a horrible earthquake hit Banja Luka. The warden (Ljuba Tadić) thinks that it is pointless to keep prisoners in a collapsed building, so he releases them for a week to help repair the aftermath of the earthquake. He risks a lot with that move, because it some of the prisoners are in a dilemma whether to escape somewhere the law will never catch up with them, and for some of them this is really the first time opportunity to help fellow human beings, which is a remarkable change in their lives. The film abounds in the same documentary material, shot on the scene of an actual earthquake, which contributes to the persuasiveness of the film. There are also bizarre scenes, such as a gypsy gig in the middle of homeless people, a girl in a wedding dress fleeing from a prisoner, and even subversive remarks ("Long live the earthquake, now we are all equal!"). On the whole, an interesting achievement unjustly forgotten today.
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