Skaters, skinheads and kung fu fighters are among the colourful characters set to screen at London’s Raindance Film Festival 2011. As well as the usual string of daring and bold film choices for which the festival is rightly renowned, this year’s well-loved festival promises to treat film buffs to a wealth of contemporary Balkan cinema.
Streaking ahead of the success of recent years, this autumn’s festival (28 September – 9 October) will feature an incredible schedule of films from all the states of the former Yugoslavia. Established Festival Programmer Andreja Kmetović has drawn on his extensive contact base to pull together a strong and varied roster of contemporary cinema from the region’s top directors.
Wannabe Magazine approached W!LD RooSTeR for an in-depth interview to discuss personal impressions of time spent in Serbia and opinions on what the future could hold for young people in the country. Here is a small sample with links to the full interview in English or Serbian.
Odakle potiče Vaše zanimanje za ove države?
WR: Moje zanimanje za Srbiju i zapadni Balkan je počelo pre pet godina, dok sam radio u Kini. Upoznao sam dvojicu momaka, jednog iz Banja Luke, a drugog iz Skoplja. Pričali su mi o svojim životima i iskustvima, a moja želja da saznam više samo je rasla. Skoro dvadeset puta sam posetio region, boraveći u Bosni, Hrvatskoj, Crnoj Gori, Makedoniji i, naravno, Srbiji. Uživam u bogatstvu kulture i zahvalan sam što imam divne prijatelje. Oni su mi pružili toplu dobrodošlicu i naučili me mnogo čemu o istoriji i ljudima iz regiona.
Who would have thought it: You can tell a Serb by their smile. While a smiling Serb isn’t necessarily the World’s most familiar image of the region, maybe it’s time to rewrite the book of cultural clichés.
One thing was staring me in the face when I recently visited Belgrade – the jaw-dropping increase in facial furniture being worn by Belgrade’s beautiful young things. It seemed like every third person was proudly sporting a dental brace. Honestly, I have never seen so much mouth metal outside of Los Angeles.
Indeed, Serbia reminded me more of the image-conscious USA, thanks to the embarrassing wealth of good dental work filling faces in Belgrade’s bars and restaurants. Clearly, this is something of a trend.
The Box is the tragicomic urban tale of three young men chasing their dreams while trapped under the yoke of UN sanctions in early nineties Belgrade. With the onset of isolation, the film shows Belgrade in a moment of transition between everyday normality and the abnormal conditions about to be imposed on it.
It is 1992 and governments are recalling their embassies in the face of the coming storm, leaving the packing to our three protagonists, who work for a removals business that specialises in moving diplomats. This should be good for them as they box the lives of the diplomatic corps, but they live in a country that is being cut off.
Rather than be crushed by this, these young men carry on their own lives until they are moved to find new outlets for their dreams, showing comical resourcefulness to break out of their isolation.