23/05/2008 03:55

Buđenje pacova (The Awakening of the Rats) in Retrospective of a Domestic Author

SFRJ, 1967, 79 min
: Živojin Pavlović
Cast: Alenka Rančić, Dušan Tadić, Dušica Žegarac, Gizela Vuković, Ljiljana Jovanović, Ljubomir Ćipranić, Milan Jelić, Milivoje Tomić, Minja Vojvodić, Mira Dinulović, Mirjana Blašković, Mirjana Nikolić, Nada Kasapić, Nikola Milić, Olga Poznatov, Pavle Vuisić, Petar Lupa, Severin Bijelić, Slobodan Perović, Snežana Lukić, Tomanija Đuričko, Vojislav Mićović
Awards: Golden Arena for direction in Pula, 1967, Silver Bear in Berlin Festival, 1967
Selection: Retrospective of a Domestic Author

Buđenje pacova (The Awakening of the Rats) is another hard social drama about a lonely marginal character, which proved and justified Živojin Pavlović’s gained credibility of a serious film author with clear definition of style expression and precise genre directions. The movie was done by almost identical crew that worked on highly successful movie called Kad budem mrtav i beo (When I Am Dead and White); screenplay writers Gordan Mihić and Ljubiša Kozomora, cameraman Milorad Jakšić Fanđo, set designer Dragoljub Ivkov, and editor Olga Skrigin.

The content of the movie could be shortly summarized as an attempt of a lonely man to bring some positive changes into his rather pointless, dull, and gray life. As previous Pavlović’s heroes, a former national security officer, Velimir Bamber, played by Sloobodan Cica Perović (later known by the role of uncle Jakob in Zimovanje u Jakobsfeldu (Winter Holiday in Jakobsfeldu) by Branko Bauer), wanders through nothingness of social-realism trying to find a job and money for mere survival. He meets an unknown girl, falls in love, and believes that the relationship is changing his faith and is bringing light into his life. However, when the illusion is at its peak, the girl disappears with the money he got from a friend, and Bamberg stays disappointed and tricked, in the same situation he was before that meeting, if not even worse.

This highly-awarded movie entered into anthologies of Yugoslav and Serbian cinematography as the first movie that told about gay population. In a scene, the main character goes through a book called Hungarian Revolution, the book that he took from his friend, Milorad (played by Mića Tomić), and finds photographs where he is in very intimate poses with a man, which he uses later, in the climax of the story, to insult him badly. In this way, the film art of the time courageously admitted that there were groups of people in our society with different sexual habits, which was not easy at all at the time of communist and traditional dogmas.