How did film critics and media from Croatia see “Daru from Jasenovac”? – Culture

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“Dara from Jasenovac, pornography of violence under the protection of Vučić’s regime”, ” The horror of Ustasha crimes is shown in a catastrophic way”, “You can’t build a story on evil Ustashas and helpless Serbs” – are some of the titles of film reviews that appeared about ” Gifts from Jasenovac “by Predrag Gaga Antonijevic in the Croatian media after the television premiere on the public service of Serbia.

Photo: Aleksandar Letić

The text published in Večernji list states that “Dara iz Jasenovac” obviously pretends to be the Serbian “Schindler’s List” – “a film that will talk about the suffering of a nation and fascist atrocities”, but that it falls into the most important one – “the main plot and flat written characters ”.

The author Samir Milla states that the film is and is not “cheap Serbian propaganda directed against Croatia and the Catholic Church”, and adds that in Antonijević’s production there are several factual errors related to Ustasha uniforms, pictures on the wall of the perpetrators in Stara Gradiška, and that in there are no Croats in the camp.

The biggest objection refers to the construction of the characters, which are mostly cast for the needs of certain scenes, which is why the average viewer will probably be confused.

“No one can deny that terrible crimes took place in Jasenovac, that Ante Vrban killed children in the basement with gas, people killed with a sledgehammer and slaughtered with large knives, but that does not mean that caricatures should have been made of these characters. The director did a similar thing, such as Oja Kodar in the film ‘Time for’ or Jakov Sedlar in ‘Four Rows’ “, writes, among other things, Večernji list.

Nenad Polimac points out in Jutarnji list that Antonijevic made a mistake when he pushed the film into the competition for the Golden Globe and the Oscar “because he found himself in a society to which he does not belong”.

“It is not an offshoot of ‘world cinema’ that prospers there, rather a provincial work (by the way, very often on a solid craft level that is, say, inaccessible to our” Four Rows “), which reduces accounts in today’s resolved national conflicts. Is it an anti-Croatian film? Rather, it could be declared anti-Ustasha, which is extremely legitimate, but it only interests the audience from this area “, the author points out, adding that anti-Catholicism in the film is more problematic.

On the Indeks.hr portal, they write that the maximum range of the film “Dara iz Jasenovac” will be to serve “as an occasion for pub quarrels or as oil for the always fiery internet discussions of the Serbo-Croatian nationalist sediment”.

As film critics and media from Croatia have seen "Daru from Jasenovac"? 2

“When nationalists reach out to difficult and tragic topics, such as the Ustasha pogrom against Serbs, Jews, Roma, but also unsuitable members of other nations, primarily communists, the outcome cannot be better than Dara from Jasenovac,” the text reads.

Vladimir Matijanić also writes that “when Vučić, Vulin, Gojković and company stand behind someone like Antonijević, the result cannot be better.”

“Pornography of violence in the service of the regime of one of the most obscure instigators from the 1990s. It is a pity that the topic will probably have a better time, if it ever comes “, the author believes.

Asked to comment on the echo of “Dare from Jasenovac” in Croatia, film critic Jurica Pavičić says that it irresistibly reminds people in Croatia of the opportunities in their cinematography in the 90s, during the Tudjman era.

– There are a lot of similarities. A nationalist autocratic government that considers its people to be under historical stigma. He tries to present himself in a different light through the film, as a victim. It takes a segment of history in which it really was so. Films that fit that political agenda are generously funded. The best directors see that this is agitprop with a political agenda, so they remove themselves from such projects, and mediocre or bad authors fall into the empty space. They made really horrible films – such as Oje Kodar’s “Time for”, Bogdan Žižić’s “Price of Life” or Neven Hitrec’s “Virgin Mary” – which would then receive horrible criticism abroad, which would then cause frustration and conspiracy theories about Serbian ( now: Croatian) lobby. I think you can see for yourself that there are a lot of coincidences – says Jurica Pavičić for Danas.

He adds that “Dara from Jasenovac” is “factually and poetically coincided with examples from the Croatian 90’s”.

– Even for the metaphorical use of faith (wooden cross) and for connecting villains and disgusting sex. But what I think should be of particular concern to the Serbian public is that this – it seems – is turning into the beginning of a trend, just like the 90s in Croatia. Well, now I read that a film about the “yellow house” case, which should be directed by an American never-heard director who has 21 “upcoming projects” on imdb, will be generously financed, his last film earned 14 thousand dollars in the USA, and on Rotten Tomatoes has 0% positive reviews – emphasizes the film critic.

He adds that “while Vučić’s cultural policy is wasting money on such obscurantists, at the same time Serbia has a generation of phenomenal young directors who made brilliant first films, but never to welcome others.”

– When the first films of Vladimir Perišić, Nikola Ležajić, Maja Miloš, Ognjen Glavonić and Marko Đorđević appeared, it seemed to me, as well as to many film critics, that one of the most talented generations Serbian film has ever had, the new “black” val “. In the meantime, some years have passed, and none of them has made another film. And instead of giving money to them, Serbian cultural policy generously finances an American thrash director who will make films about kidney removal. All in all, if you ask me, this is a bare cliché: nationalists always destroy national culture first – concludes Jurica Pavičić.

TV premiere

Film critic Jurica Pavičić points out that the only known case that the film was released on the public service before the cinema distribution was again from the Croatian 90s.

– In the fall of 1999, HRT released Sedlar’s “Četverored” as a series before the cinema distribution because they tried to influence the outcome of the elections, so that people would not vote for the SDP. They lost the election, for the first time ever. The films are very similar, except that Antonijevic is a more literate director and had a bigger budget – Pavicic points out.

“Dara” on YouTube

The television premiere on the Serbian public service was watched by more than 2.6 million people in Serbia, but thanks to the broadcast on the Radio-Television of Republika Srpska, and on the TV Prva Crna Gora channel, the program was available outside our borders. In addition, although it was impossible to rewind content through television providers, “Dara from Jasenovac” was already available on YouTube that evening, and at the time of writing, there are at least five shots of the film on this platform, which have so far had approximately 600,000 views.

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