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, партизански филм) 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 Yugoslav Partisans as main protagonists, while the antagonists are Axis forces and their collaborators.[3] According to Croatian film historian Ivo Škrabalo, Partisan film is "one of the most authentic genres that emerged from the Yugoslav cinema".[4]

Definition and scope

There are disagreements, even among the film critics, about the exact definition of the genre.[5] 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).[6][7] 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.[7]

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":[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

Notable films


Notable television series


  1. ^ a b 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. ^ The Rise and Fall of the Yugoslav Partisan Film: Cinematic Perceptions of a National Identity on JSTOR
  4. ^ Škrabalo, Ivo (May 2011). "Croatian Film in the Yugoslav Context in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century". KinoKultura (Special Issue 11). ISSN 1478-6567. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  5. ^ Pavičić, Jurica (11 November 2009). "Vrdoljak je radio najbolje partizanske filmove". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 2010-05-23.
  6. ^ "Kozara". Baza HR kinematografije (in Croatian). Croatian Film Association. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  7. ^ a b Šakić, Tomislav (2010). "Opsada, Branko Marjanović, 1956". (in Croatian). Subversive Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2010-10-26.
  8. ^ Pavičić 2003, pp. 13–14
  9. ^ Jovanović 2011, pp. 51–54
  10. ^ Pavičić 2016, pp. 61–62.
  11. ^ 1970|
  12. ^ "Z" Wins Foreign Language Film: 1970 Oscars
  13. ^ Tito on film: how the myth of Yugoslavia was built on the silver screen —— The Calvert Journal
  14. ^ Nemanja Zvijer: Presenting (Imposing) Values through Films. The Case of the Yugoslav Partisan Films - IMAGES: Journal for Visual Studies
  15. ^ 'Force 10 from Navaone': A Slack and Dull Mission - The Washington Post


Further reading

See also