Film as Spiritual Brotherhood

After the screening of Crows by Gordan Mihić, the author held a workshop for the students and Festival guests.

At the very beginning, Gordan Mihić talked about his start in the world of film. He stated that he had never directed before making Crows, but he and his co-director Ljubiša Kozomara previously wrote screenplays for 9 feature films. They had no formal education and knew nothing about directing, but they had an instinct about what a good film should be. Even though the making of this film was full of ups and downs, the result was amazing – Best Director in Taormina, excellent reviews in Cannes, and screening at over eleven international festivals.

The director then reflected on the very prominent period in the history of Yugoslav film – Black Wave. The authors that created those films were strong, and they had to endure repression and disapproval of the public, since the films talked about the struggle of ordinary people and political oppression. On the other hand, those same films were financed by the government. Mihić believes that this was the case because even such a totalitarian government understood that culture must be allowed and that it was an evidence of some sort of freedom.

Discussing about the prototype of a young author today, Mihić said that he had worked with several young people from Europe and singled out Cãlin Peter Netzer, Romanian director, comparing him to the strong authors from the past like Živojin Pavlović or Makavejev, saying that “whether he is my spiritual brother or not, regardless of the age difference, brothers are brothers, and if something matches between us, we will make a film. If we are two islands, two worlds, and we can be regardless of the contact made or not, we can make the contact later during the filming or by talking. In any case, brotherhood is something that connects us, spiritual brotherhood.”

Answering the question about his work techniques and methods, he said that, owing to his experience in journalism, he learned to write fast, without too much thinking and hesitation.

In the end, Mihić reflected on his cooperation with Emir Kusturica, which dates back 30 years. The two authors travelled together across Kosovo to find material for the story on Roma children sold to Italy as beggars. The idea sprang from a short newspaper article about a Roma boy who had been stealing for his boss for years. They ended up finding it near Skopje, in a large Roma settlement and combined the story of young Perhan, a juvenile delinquent and future leading character of The Time of the Gypsies and a Roma friend Mihić had as a child.

Gordan Mihić also worked on Kusturica’s latest film On the Milky Road.