Summer Prog (3)

The Yugoslav Black Wave of films from the 1960s and early 1970s were characterised by their critical examination of Yugoslav society. Notable works from the Black Wave include the early works of filmmaker Želimir Žilnik. This summer, we’ll be screening his Black Film (1971).

Crni film - photo 2

Still from Black Film, by Želimir Žilnik

The film opens with the director addressing the camera directly, speaking of how one of his earlier films about the situation of homeless people seems to have had no discernible effect on the problem. In what appears to be a spur of the moment decision, he gathers a group of homeless men and takes them to his apartment, which seems to surprise his wife and child.

One night Zilnik picks up 10 homeless men from the streets of Novi Sad and brings them home. While they enjoy the hospitality of his family, Zilnik tries to “solve the homeless problem’” – bringing along the film camera, as a witness. He talks to different social services, common citizens, even the police. Everybody close their eyes in front of the “problem”.

This film depicts the misery of abstract humanism. It is a reckoning with anarcho-liberalism, with false avant-gardism, with social demagogy, with left-wing fraction. 
The author sees this film as an example of filmmaker’s exploitation of others’ misfortune, believing as they do that, they belong to a higher social class than the victims.” – quoted from the press kit of the film

Crni film - photo 1

Still from Black Film, by Želimir Žilnik

More info on the films of Želimir Žilnik can be found here>>

 

Black Film is accompanied by a manifesto:

MANIFESTO > BLACK FILM

YOU ARE WATCHING:

THE CLASS STRUCTURE OF YUGOSLAV SOCIETY

LUMPENPROLETARIAT AND “HUMANIST INTELLIGENTSIA”

TECHNOLOGY OF THE PURPOSEFUL ABUSE OF THE POOR

IN THE FILM A LESSON OF THE HUNGRY, DIRTY, STINKING,

GIVEN TO THE ZILNIK FAMILY

THE CHILD IS TO BE SHOWN WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT.

 

IN THE LAND THAT IS IN DOUBT WITH ITS OWN NAME,

ITS OWN HAND AND ITS OWN POWER

IN THE MOMENT WHEN THE BARE NECESSITIES

/ BREAD, MILK AND DOLLAR / BECOME MORE EXPENSIVE BY THE DAY,

THE FILM CASE OCCASIONALLY ENJOYS THIS TREATMENT OF THE SUFFERINGS

OF THE WORKING CLASS AND THE PEASANTS.

THAT GIVES IT – THIS PART OF THE MIDDLE CLASS STRUCTURE –

AN ILLUSION OF COMMITMENT AND SYMPATHY.

 

ONE SHOULD MAKE BULLSHIT OUT OF EVERYTING INCLUDING ONESELF!

ONE SHOULD START WITH THE DECONSTRUCTION OF ONE’S OWN MARRIAGE BED!

WHAT WOULD IT BE LIKE IF THE POOR HAD DRIVEN US ALL INTO THE ASSHOLE?

FORTUNATELY, THAT WON’T HAPPEN.

 

FILM MUST BECOME CRITICAL OF SOCIETY.

I MUST WRESTLE AGAINST TWO ENEMIES: AGAINST MY OWN MIDDLE CLAS

NATURE WHICH TURNS THIS COMMITMENT INTO AN ALIBI AND BUSINESS AND

AGAINST THOSE WHO MANIPULATE, WHO OWN THE POWER AND THE CAPITAL,

WHO BENEFIT FROM THE SILENCE.

THAT’S WHY I FUCK ABOUT MY FEELING OF GUILT.

 

FILM – WEAPON OR SHIT?

 

 

 

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