The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, May 17-23

nyc repertory cinema-Tito-amongst-the-serbs-for-the-second-timeTito Among the Serbs for the Second Time (1994)
Directed by Želimir Žilnik
A special, emblematic place in Serbian director Žilnik’s extraordinary filmography is occupied by his masterpiece Tito Among the Serbs for the Second Time. At a time when Serbia was under international sanctions and at (fratricidal) war, the director resurrected Marshal Tito, the late leader of the nation that was now being torn apart. There he is, walking the street of Belgrade asking people the reasons of such absurd war. “What happened to our great and united Yugoslavia?” Though fully aware of the fictional nature of the stunt, passersby engage in surprisingly heated discussions with their late leader, freely speaking their own mind. The film thus turns into a retroactive happening, an act of political psychoanalysis where the national subconscious is laid bare in front of the spectator. It’s a film that exemplifies the sheer genius of Žilnik’s oeuvre, a politically instinctual cinema that through farce gets at the heart of tragedy. The film that deals with the history of a single country and yet resonates universally. Giovanni Vimercati (May 21, 7pm; May 27, 9pm at Anthology Film Archives’s Žilnik retrospective)

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