Section: Spotlight: Montenegro



Živko Nikolić
Yugoslavia (Serbia), 1981, 9 Min

There they still carry the water up the mountain in barrels. Not far from here a hydroelectric power station was built, yet now it stands as a ruin, watched over by an armed guard. On the sound track traditional chanting in praise of hydroelectricity is blended in. A tongue-in-cheek commentary on the "achievements" of socialism.

Živko Nikolić (1941 – 2001)

Born in 1941 in Ozrinići near Montenegro's second largest city Nikšić, Živko Nikolić lived in Belgrade (Serbia, Yugoslavia), and his films which are part of this short retrospective were made by the renowned production companies from Belgrade, namely Dunav-Film (short films) and Centar-Film (THE BEAUTY OF VICE). In his twenty-seven films and two TV series he transcends genre boundaries. All the while he remained thematically faithful to his homeland. His early documentary films, some of which we present in the pre-programme of the Spotlight: Montenegro, test the boundaries between contemplative observation and metaphorical film-making. The focus is generally on individuals who have to stand firm in a harsh everyday life surrounded by karstic mountains, as well as against the omnipotence of tradition, patriarchal conventions and rigid gender roles. Nikolić's work juxtaposes the traditional way of life in the mountains with the modern influences that transform everyday life on the beaches of the Adriatic coast; places where the first nudist paradise and hippie colonies came into being back in the 1970s. The films are based on opposites, on the social friction that, almost imperceptibly, comes to form the focal-point of these observations. The ideas and industrialisation of socialism, as applied to the mountains of Montenegro, often appear alien to tradition, almost as surreal as the first nudists on the beach, and yet here there are also signs of changes that can no longer be reversed. Not infrequently Nikolić's works focus on the observer, the outsider, perhaps an alter ego of the filmmaker himself, who looks on with interest and wonder at his country, seeking a happy balance between perseverance and change. A thoughtful, at times cautiously mocking and yet analytical gaze which still reverberates in Montenegrin cinema today. BB

DCP | doc. | Farbe / Colour
Živko Nikolić
Savo Jovanović
Milan Tričković
Lana Vukobratović
Jelena Bogdanov Sremčević
Živko Nikolić

Živko Nikolić -

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