Slobodan Sijan – Ko to tamo peva? aka Who’s singing over there? (1980)


“I’m miserable,” a Gypsy accordionist sings, cheerfully, straight into the camera during the very first scene of director Slobodan Sijan’s 1980 film Who’s Singin’ Over There? “I was born that way/ I sing, to sing away my pain/ How I wish, mother dear, that this life had all been but a dream!” And the rest of this tart, raunchy, surprisingly affecting movie proceeds accordingly, ushering a bus-full of interestingly flawed rural types through a meandering journey to Belgrade on the eve of the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia. Callous and clueless by turns, the characters spend their last 24 hours together arguing, accusing and assaulting each other, blissfully unaware of how insignificant their petty personal obsessions will soon become. And does it all end happily? Don’t make me laugh — unless you then go on to make me choke up right afterwards. Continue reading