PLANETARY TRAGEDY: Djordje Kadijevic on the occasion of the film “Gift from Jasenovac”

The film was made with the best motivation to show our and the world audience what a drama it is, but it cannot be said, with a hand on the heart, that the fact that Jasenovac is seen in that film.

The film does not have the dimension I expected, because Jasenovac is a huge human tragedy. The film shows a planetary tragedy and drama as an episode, it all came down to the impression that it happened to a group of Ustashas in a village. There is no volume and dimension of the Jasenovac tragedy. The mentally historically evocative format is disproportionate to the magnitude of that drama and tragedy. I think that the dramaturgy is too apart, reduced to the testimony of a surviving girl whose perception of the Jasenovac cataclysm has been reduced, especially to a foreign viewer. Those who do not know what Jasenovac was will not serve well – they will have information that is not adequate.

I was born in Croatia, although I am a Serb and an Orthodox, and I narrowly avoided going to Jastrbarsko, to a children’s camp. At the last moment, we fled from Croatia to Nedić’s Serbia, so I know that drama very well, and of course I am not proportionally covered in what such a film must have, but does not have.

Promo Photo

I would also like to make an objection to the unarticulated dramaturgy of the film. I am especially surprised and amazed that there are no positive Croats in the film. This is also not true, just as the film as a whole does not show the truth of Jasenovac, nor does it show the truth of the Croatian people who had such a hell on their territory. Not all Croats were Ustashas and that had to be shown in that film, it had to be at least symbolically indicated that there was someone who was not for it.

The positive contour of a Croat in the film had to be performed in more serious material, to give some satisfaction to the whole endeavor, as it did not give him in terms of format, as the film failed to show the volume and dimension of one of the most terrible camps in world history. lasted four years and where there are, despite all the stories and nonsense that are heard, more than a million dead. Everyone secretly knows that, but those numbers are always decreasing.

So, in addition to the fact that it was not shown in the film, it was not even said that Croatia was not exclusively the homeland of an Ustasha birth of the Croatian people, but that there were those in Croatia who were against it.

The reason that the film was not included in the competition for the Oscar is not only malice and evil intentions towards us, seriously speaking, it did not deserve to be in such competition, regardless of the fact that the younger generation who does not know what Jasenovac is who knows what they see in it. I belong to the generation that experienced the Second World War and I can tell you that in our terrible misery we actually knew what was happening in Croatia, we knew what Jasenovac was.

We who know what Jasenovac is and how much tragedy and drama it is see the film differently than those who know little or nothing about it, we feel a disproportion and say that this is an episode about Jasenovac that is disproportionate and does not cover this big topic, but on the contrary calls out that topic. I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed because I didn’t even expect it anymore. There are also naive scenes. It was not possible to escape from Jasenovac just by running into the forest. During the entire occupation, I think that no case of successful escape from Jasenovac has been recorded.

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