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Parallels Between Krleža's "Ljubljana Report" and Autonomous Post-Yugoslav Cinema

Aleš Čakalić
Alma Mater Europaea - ISH

In 1952, Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža (1893-1981) put an end to the two decades long »polemic on the artistic left« in Yugoslavia, during which a confrontation between socialist realism and a more liberal understanding of artistic expression had been taking place. Krleža's famous 1952 "Ljubljana report" represented a turning point of socialist realism taking a backstep in order to give space to more autonomous artistic creation.

In the body of post-Yugoslav cinema one can detect two basic artistic approaches: instrumental, where films serve as conveyors of ideological messages of authorities, and autonomous, which may also carry political messages but if so, the messages stand for subjective artistic commentaries on social reality. One can also find examples of the two approaches merging in one and the same film, yet a great majority of post-Yugoslav films can be elegantly subsumed under either one of those two creative modes.

With a comparative analysis of the main talking points of the »Ljubljana report« and of selected examples of autonomous post-Yugoslav cinema, parallels are observed, and a conclusion is reached that the »Ljubljana report« is the reference point with which the specificity and meaning of autonomous post-Yugoslav cinema can be convincingly interpreted and grounded.



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