Marko Babac, Zivojin Pavlovic & Vojislav ‘Kokan’ Rakonjac – Grad AKA City (1963)


The first film of the Yugoslav Black Wave.

Grad is a psychological drama about the thin line that separates depression and melancholy. It gives us the opportunity to understand that the alienation of the modern socialist man is not just a social problem, but also a poetic aestheticization of urban thinking and behaviour. For Pavlovic, Bapca, and especially Rakonjca, self-destruction is not a defence mechanism, but a lifestyle.

Exploring new areas of old sites, Grad is, in a figurative sense, the first Yugoslavian film that deals with the suburb as a metaphor of alternative culture. Through their analysis of public consciousness, the three directors project their secret Bauhaus, seeking its shadow in the hidden areas of obsolete thought, in the everyday of Socialism.

The film ends up in a real suburb of Belgrade, defining a new border area between intimacy and claustrophobia, Neoclassicism and Constructivism, night and day, village and city, sound and images, present and future.


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