YU-Qwest's Movie Special Interest Group

YU_FILM_2: YUQ TEXT: Pretty Village, Pretty Flame

YUQ TEXT: Pretty Village, Pretty Flame

Radmila Mihajlovic (rmihajlo@direct.ca)
Sat, 12 Oct 1996 11:01:32 -0700

Pretty Villlage, Pretty Flame (English Canadian Premiere)
The most controversial film from post-Yugoslavia Serbia Srdjan
Dragojevice's Plattoon-like dispatch from the Bosnian war zone, in which
he placed his zealous, militarist characters in front of actual villages
being tragically burned and destroyed. For the first time in a
Belgrade-produced film, we see Serbian atrocities documented, and they are
counterpointed against actual Serbian nationalist propaganda, blaming
everything violent on the Muslims. (Muslims are warmongers here, too. All
sides are bloodthirsty, perhaps explaining why Pretty Village, Pretty
Flame has been embraced at home by some fringe rightists and old-time
communists, though most have denounced it as peacenik grandstanding.)

Dragojevic cuts between five (!) time schemes. Time one: 1982, the last
days of Tito, when two Bosnian boys, one Serbian, Milan, alone Moslem,
Halil, watch a communist "peace tummel" being erected. Tiem two: 1991, the
first day of the war, with the two Bosnians, now grown, about to go
separate ways. Time three: the backstories of other Serbs before they go
to war. Time four: 1992, a Serb batallion is cought in the "peace tunnel".
These include the Serb, Milan, plus the others in Time three. Time five:
1992, the few Serb survivors of a mauling in the "peace tunnel" lay
wounded in a Belgrade hospital. Pretty Village, Pretty Flame builds and
builds, as Dragojevic brilliantly slides among the time schemes to creae
a vivid condemnation of the Bosnian War.