Movie See You in the Next War (1980.)

118 min

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The two enemies from war, Slovenian partisan Berk and German soldier Bitter, meet each other during holidays in Spain. Recalling the war through conversation, Berk remembers Anton, his fellow comrade he had spend the most time with.

1980.

118 min

SD

Slovenia

Genre

Drama

Production

Vesna film

See You in the Next War

Živojin Pavlović was pleasantly surprised when he was offered by Viba film to film Vitomil Zupan's novel Minuet for Guitar in Twenty-Five Shots (Menuet za kitaro na petindvajset strelov) and to write a screenplay for it himself: he had always been the one who offered projects so far, he had never received such direct order, all the more interesting because the book has caused great controversy in the Slovenian cultural public. Zupan was a provocative figure, a former partisan who was not a communist, so many of his memories of the period were not ideologically appropriate, however, in the Viba film they estimated that they needed exactly such a film. The main problem was that it was an expensive project, it cost as much as two long-feature films, but there was no money in Slovenia at the time, because the spectacular war series Battle of Dražgoše (Dražgoška bitka) was being filmed, but after some delays, the budget was finally rounded up. Instead of Karp Gdina, who has already begun his preparations for his directorial debut The Medusa Raft (Splav meduze), Tomislav Pinter was chosen as the new director of photography, who was extremely intrigued by the scenario. The film consisted of two parts, the first was a contemporary frame playing in Spain, where the main character Berk during his vacation (Milan Puzić) meets Bitter (Hans-Christian Blech) who is German and it turns out that they fought for two different sides in WWII, but now this does not distance them, but rather brings them closer, as they both experienced this period as an incredibly intense experience. Encouraged by these conversations, Berk recalls his youth (now played by Metod Pevec), when he was an illegal one in Ljubljana, a dude and a seducer, who was just getting ready for going into partisans and being constantly in a conflict with his ideologically rigid colleagues. In the woods, he gets closer to Anton (Boris Juh), a partisan who is as independent as he is and with him he goes through the most serious wartime fights. Pavlović portrayed partisan warfare in the most realistic way, the most complex in the former Yugoslav cinema (the experienced Pinter helped him in the realisation of more demanding scenes), and the film provoked not only in the part where the former partisan talks with the former German soldier as an equal partner, but also in flashbacks in which - as in The Ambush (Zaseda) - it is obvious that true heroes die and others then claim their merit. Also provocative was a scene in which the actors do the make up for a performance to celebrate the partisan victory, as it was an obvious metaphor for what the whole new state is doing. The film was left unrecognised in Pula, but in 1982 it was admitted to Cannes "15 Days of authors" program. It was a big hit in Slovenia, however, in many other republics it was not even shown, as it was considered too subversive. Author: Nenad Polimac

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