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Janko Baljak, YU

"Vidimo se u citulji - The Crime that Changed Serbia"

YU 1995, Video, 35:00 min, col

Janko Baljac's „The Crime that Changed Serbia“ looks at the general issue of crime. Since the beginning of the war in Bosnia, criminal activity in Serbia has risen dramatically. According to this documentary, the fact that the number of crimes doubled in the first years of the war is mainly attributed to the boom in arms traffic after the UN sanctions were imposed on Yugoslavia.

The film is composed of fragments from interviews with leading criminal personalities who were operating in this period. There are also interviews with police officers and photographs of criminals who, with members of their gangs, are all fully equipped with guns. War-struck Serbia is a frustrated nation. Young people realise that their future consists of poverty, uncertainty and fear. As in many cities of ex-Communist countries, they are easily tempted by the money, the glamour and the delights that being a member of a gang can offer. Besides, there is a lack of other attractive options when society is collapsing around them and living standards are falling dramatically. Being a member of the Yugoslav Mafia gives a feeling of security because it has the air of being the only fixed feature of Serbian life. In the words of one of the interviewees „Every young man in Serbia dreams of becoming a member of a gang for five minutes in his life.“ The same person adds that „Mortals (that is, ordinary people) will not experience in their entire life what one of us experiences in one day.“ The perception of capitalism as the pursuit of easy money and profit without productive activity is another reason for youngsters to get involved in illegal activity. It is a generation that wants it all and it wants it now. (Raindance Film Festival)

Janko Baljak

1965 geboren in Belgrad, Jugoslawien. Abschluß in Film- und Fernsehregie an der Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrad. Seine Filme gewannen diverse Preise auf verschiedenen internationalen Festivals. Seine Episode aus der Anthologie "What are you doing tonight?" (1988) wurde für den 18. Oscar in der Rubrik Bester Ausländischer Studentenfilm nominiert. Baljak ist wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter an der Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrad im Bereich Film-und Fernsehregie. Auswahl Festivals und Preise: FIPA (Festival international de programmes audiovisuels), Biarritz, Frankreich, Januar 1996 • Mediawave (Internationales Festival der Bildenden Künste), Gyor, Ungarn, Mai 1996 • 1. Preis "North-South", Genf, Schweiz, Mai 1996 • Ethnically Clean 1998 (Doc) • Bester Dokumentarfilm: the 45th Festival of Yugoslav documentary and short film, Belgrad, März 1998 • 3. Amnesty International Film Festival, Amsterdam, Holland, September 1998 • Balkan Answer (the festival of video art from the former Yugoslavia), St. Petersburg, Russland, Dezember 1998 • Tobacco Road, 1998 (Doc) • 02:06 - the anatomy of pain, 2000 (Doc), Grand prix • 47. Festival of Yugoslav documentary and short film Belgrad, Jugoslawien, Yu Fipresci Award • Prix Circom Regional, Potsdam 2000

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