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BLACK PEARLS

Yugoslavia, 1958 (MIFF 1960, Programme 17)

Director: Svetomir Janic

The action of this film takes us back to the first post-war years when a group of young delinquents were placed in an old monastery on the seacoast that had been transfoimed into a children's home. The lack of understanding on the part of the authorities lead to the revolt of the boys.

Were they really juvenile delinquents which Society should punish or are they victims of war who should have been helped? A young man decided to take up their case. His argument was that a man can stay a man if the circumstances make it possible for him to remain such. He thought it was necessary to create the conditions in which they would feel their human personality to the fullest measure. It was necessary to tieat them as human beings. It was necessary to live with them, to think with them, to speak as they speak, to react to life as they did. And then it was necessary to wait, patiently, for the results to come.

But the birth of a new man cannot come without the birth pangs. There are conflicts and complica­tions, habits acquired in the delinquent period are still to be found here and there and the tragedy, it seems, is drawing near. But the young man has confidence.

The special charm of this film is in the acting of the boys who were selected from children's homes and who play themselves on the screen.

This is director Janic's first feature film. He is a well-known Jugoslav director of short films.

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