A Serbian Film & The Art of Hate
Harry Knowles, the premier movie geek of Ain't It Cool News, says "Serbian Film" (Srpski film) is "brilliant", "tremendous" and "extreme", and has to be seen to be believed.
It is also a story about the sickest, most depraved dark corners of the underground porn industry. We're talking things that are illegal for a reason. But, you see, what first-time director/producer Srdjan Spasojevic set out to do was not make just a snuff or exploitation movie (which this most assuredly is). Oh no, his intent was to make a metaphor for Serbia itself.
That is why it's called "Serbian Film" and not, for example, "Snuff". All the sick depravity in it is supposed to represent the country, the society, the people of Serbia. In the words of reviewer Todd Brown, "This is a film meant to punish, not to entertain, and it succeeds absolutely. It is genuinely sickening and that is entirely the point."
"Serbian Film" is actually an anti-Serbian film.
Spasojevic, the director, doesn't deny his film is meant to be a metaphorical representation of Serbia. He claims that the film was entirely financed "privately, with donations and contributions from friends." Donations from whom? What sort of "friends"? This kind of money doesn't grow on trees, least of all in Serbia - where the only people with money are crooks and politicians (or is that redundant?). And oh yes, foreigners. Could it be that the "Serbian Film" was funded by the same people who fund Natasa Kandic, Sonja Biserko and other "NGO" vampires, whose only job for the past two decades has been to denigrate, defame and destroy everything Serbian? This is mere speculation on my part, mind you, but I would not be shocked if it ends up being true.
At least we know that Spasojevic didn't get a penny from the government; that's sort of surprising, given that official Belgrade shares his Serbophobia and automasochism. In fact, Spasojevic complains about the lack of official support, arguing that "This is a matter of culture, that represents Serbia in the world." (see interview in Serbian, here)
He has a point, in a way; a horrific, self-hating botched WW1 epic ("St. George Slays the Dragon") got copious government funding, even though its levels of Serb-hate and defamation are child's play compared to "Serbian Film". If one can't get paid for Serb-hating in today's Serbia, what can one get paid for?
That even the government is drawing the line at Spasojevic's magnum opus speaks volumes about its depravity.
The damage is already done, of course. Spasojevic's cinematic equivalent of "Piss Christ" is already touring the festivals in the US and elsewhere, "representing Serbia" to people already all to willing to see it as demonic, depraved and deserving of destruction. In the words of one reviewer,
Never again will you be able to hear or read the innocent phrase "a Serbian film" without a reflexive awakening of the searing images that Aleksandar Radivojevic (screenplay) and Srdjan Spasojevic (co-writer and director) have put on screen.
I just hope Spasojevic gets the reward he so richly deserves for this immense contribution to his nation's culture and history.
Anti-Serbian film, made to prolong and perpetuate stereotypes of demonized Balkan people, title says it all
I am writing this for fairness and justice without any other motivation:
This is a politically motivated film. Why? One or two decades ago, several powerful countries needed to tailor public opinion into an intervention in Balkan conflict. They did so by demonizing the people and completely distorting the line of events, an approach/version followed religiously to present day. Nowadays, when some elements of real truth start coming out, changing perceptions and many take notions that not everyone from Balkans has a villain tag on his forehead - the establishment comes up with this stereotypical unfounded and "politically correct" story reiterating every single bit of media madness of the 90s - sick aggressive and deranged Balkan male always willing to settle any issue by rape, murder, torture, people of mythical mindset living in the past and taking revenge on the world for not having everything the way they want to. The fact that director is Serbian as well as actors does not disapprove my point. I do not care if some director makes an exploitation movie or a movie with sick themes. That movie could be called "slashing movie", "chopping and raping movie", however when you call it "serbian movie" this gets clear political motivation.
Being from the Balkans, I have seen many Serbian movies, authentic movies, ones with real local spirit and humor, those that reflect local culture. And, I can tell you, that authentic Balkan movie is not a hollywoodized, 100% westernized broth. Therefore it is obvious that this movie is not made for local audience: it was made for some other audiences or purposes. Now, this is not the place for me to prove Serbian people are totally unlike this; I know they are. Nevertheless, in spite of perhaps being done well, this movie will always remain a crime towards truth and humanity, just as if you watch "The hurt locker" you will believe all Iraquis/Arabs are evil terrorists who live on killing friendly Americans. Same goes for some movies about Viet Nam, and you can also believe that Serbs are "a bunch of illiterates, degenerates, baby killers, butchers and rapists". Is it really a coincidence that this movie resembles previously quoted words of Joe Biden uttered on Larry King show during 1999 intervention in Serbia? In case you love exploitation and Hollywood(-style) movies are a place where you compensate for your geographic and cultural ignorance, you may as well believe Joe.