Spectacle | 124 South 3rd Street
Dir. Andrej Kosak, 1997
Slovenia, 105 min.
in Slovenian/Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles.
While OUTSIDER was released in a Slovenia six years after it was the first state to secede from the Yugoslavian bloc on 25th of June, 1991, and following the onslaught of war in Bosnia, there was a trend of escapist cinema already in the former Yugoslavia. However, while OUTSIDER focused itself critically against the Titoist regime of communist Yugoslavia, it was also a nostalgic look backwards to a time of peace and prosperity while war raged not far beyond its doorstep.
The film, set in Ljubljana in 1979, follows Sead, a Bosnian transplant to Slovenia following his father a career officer with the Yugoslav National Army, finds himself a misfit transplant and unwanted Bosnian in a rigid Slovenian high school of socialist pageants and violent cliques. He quickly becomes involved with a group of young punks and quickly adopt the moniker “Sid”, as he rises to become the leader of the motley-crew-cum-rock-band. He quickly finds however that his new life and friendships come with harsh consequences as they all become social outcasts, targeted by the police, military and rejected by other proper communist Yugoslavians for their shameless individualism and their disorder. When Kadunc, the band’s drummer, is picked up by the military for vandalizing a building with statements disparaging head of state Josip Broz Tito, he is imprisoned. Soon after Kadunc’s release the disgrace of his actions marks the lives of Sead and the rest of his bandmates and quickly tears all their lives apart.
Far from blind Yugo-nostalgia, Kosak’s OUTSIDER looks back towards individual persecution in the Yugoslavian system and indicts an unwillingness to move beyond a culture of conformity and obedience as the reason for the failure of Yugoslavia’s utopian dream.
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Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:30 PM
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