Sasha Miljevic: The Truth of Juxtaposed Realities

Mentor : John Heymans 

External reviewer: Eva Fotiadi

Enschede, 2009


In this thesis I aim to talk about cinema of the ‘Eastern Block’, mostly cinema bred and raised in Yugoslavia and Post Yugoslavia. I will use Dziga Vertov as a starting point since his cinematic experiments have been most influential on ‘social realism’ which emerged in most of the post WWII Communist countries and later developed in the cinematic movement called ‘New Black Wave’, a movement which will be accessed with my exploration of Dusan Makavejev and his two films Covek Nije Ptica (Man is not a Bird) and W.R Misterije Organizma (W.R. Mysteries of the Organisms) and their implications on creating the sense of ‘real’ in post Soviet Yugoslavia and creation of national identity. The thesis will be accessed with the theories of Walter Benjamin and his influential essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in which he explained and prophesized the future of art after the invention of photography and cinema.


Overall a nice text. Interesting content to read, well written, focused and with only few language mistakes that do not confuse or disturb much. Despite its short length it gives subtleties of the two directors' films, whereas at the level of cinematic language, of technical means, the uses of montage and of archival footage or the creation of fictional characters and of meaning. The variety of bibliographical sources used also adds to the layered text, without making it pretentiously theoretical. The separation in three chatters is somewhat uneven, as chapter two (Yugoslavian New Black Wave) reads as an introduction to chapter three about Makavejev. E.F.