Partisan film

Walter Defends Sarajevo, a 1972 partisan film, has a cult status in the countries of former Yugoslavia,[1][2] and was seen by 300 million Chinese viewers in the year of its release alone.[1]

Partisan film (Serbo-Croatian: Partizanski film) is the name for a subgenre of war films, made in FPR/SFR Yugoslavia during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. In the broadest sense, main characteristics of partisan films are that they are set in Yugoslavia during World War II and have partisans as main protagonists, while antagonists are Axis forces and their collaborators.

Definition and scope

There are disagreements, even among the film critics, about the exact definition of the genre.[3] Partisan films are often equated solely with the populist, entertainment-oriented branch of the genre, characterized by epic scope, ensemble casts, expensive production, and emotionally intense scenes, all introduced into Yugoslav war films by Veljko Bulajić's Kozara (1962).[4][5] The other branch  much less interesting to the Communist establishment  was represented by modernist films, ranging from the poetic naturalism of the Yugoslav Black Wave to experimental stream-of-consciousness films.[5]

By the 1980s, economic hardship in the country, as well as change in the ideological landscape, particularly with the younger Yugoslav generation, caused a waning of interest in the genre, and the critical and commercial failure of Bulajić's Great Transport (1983) is usually seen as a symbolic end of the partisan film era.[6]

In his analysis of Fadil Hadžić's The Raid on Drvar (1963), Croatian film critic Jurica Pavičić identifies seven key characteristics of what he calls "super-Partisan films":[7]

Pavičić's analysis was criticized for not being universally applicable to Partisan films, and a number of notable exceptions to the above formula were provided.[8]

Notable films

Notable television series


  1. 1 2 Cabric, Nemanja (10 August 2012). "Documentary Tells Story of the 'Walter Myth'". Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  2. Premec, Tina (8 February 2011). "Kultni film 'Valter brani Sarajevo' dobiva remake u seriji od 30 nastavaka". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  3. Pavičić, Jurica (November 11, 2009). "Vrdoljak je radio najbolje partizanske filmove". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 2010-05-23.
  4. "Kozara". Croatian Film Association. Retrieved 2010-08-25.
  5. 1 2 Šakić, Tomislav (2010). "Opsada, Branko Marjanović, 1956.". (in Croatian). Subversive Film Festival. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  6. Titoism, Self-Determination, Nationalism, Cultural Memory: Volume Two, Tito's Yugoslavia, Stories Untold, p. 61-62
  7. Pavičić 2003, p. 13–14
  8. Jovanović 2011, p. 51–54


Further reading

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