Zilnik made Marble Ass in the same year as his Tito film, i.e., in the middle of the war period under the regime of ex-Stalinist Slobodan Milosevic The main figure, Merlin, is a transvestite prostitute, aging and slowly losing his/her charms, but still trying to carry on trade as usual under the most abnormal of conditions. Before the war, Merlin was the most exotic figure in Belgrade. Now everyday life is so crazy that he is the only one who seems normal. Merlin’s companion is fellow prostitute Salena, a strapping woman armed with a knife and skilled in kick-boxing. Eager to advance in her trade she wants to learn English so she can win new customers from amongst the occupying NATO troops.
An old acquaintance, Dzoni (Johnny), returns from the war. Traumatised by the brutality of what he has seen and done, he is a ticking bomb who only feels secure with a weapon in his hand. Despite the extremity of the situation and its characters, the film charts their respective search for love, warmth and recognition—for normality. But the scars left by the war run too deep. The tide is ebbing against frail eruptions of humanity. The film ends on a bitter note of self-destruction
Zelimir Zilnik’s film entitled “Marble Ass” (1995) represents a most radical metaphor for a complete downfall of a country destroyed by degenerated outcomes of collectivism in the catastrophe of war which befell young people. Zilnik’s characters come back from the battlefield only to face a criminal milieu deeply rooted, extermination of humans, pillage, break down of law and order, quotidian robberies.
Therefore, their only way to survive becomes sharp dropping of all values. Amidst the rottenness of a social scene which represents collectivism destroyed, the first signs of a certain resistance come from desperate people. These live as if in a puddle left after big floods, marginalized and stigmatized because of their perverted outlook of the world of the bottom. In the film of new Yugoslavia (the country could otherwise be called small Yugoslavia and its production referred to as small film production from two Yugoslav republics),
Zilnik’s “Marble Ass” is beyond doubt the first ray of hope signaling that film art will make an accusation against life extinction motivated by maintaining the power in an impoverished country heading toward the catastrophe of no return. Zilnik anatomizes the margin, believing it has always been a faithful picture of circumstances destroying man and degrading all moral values. In these circumstances human life becomes worthless, taken down to the lowest scale of the basement stratum poverty.
Zilnik’s criticism was the first to reveal the defeat of humanness in the age of powerful tycoons of corruption snatching and recklessness. The corruption reaches to the ottom, where there are people emerged from the muck of inconceivable and crushing war conflict. The picture of the endangered individual (a young man), which used to be dreary in earlier films, seems to be so smooth and tender when compared to the milieu of “Marble Ass” – a vision of catastrophe in the quotidian living routine of the mid-nineties. (Professor Petar Ljubojev, Ph. D.)
1.06GB | 1:23:37 | 640 x 480 | avi