Skip to main content


Yugoslavia, 1960 (MIFF 1961, Programme 33)

Director: Veljko Bulajic

Cesare Zavattini, the script-writer of the Italian neo-realist films, Bicycle Thieves, Shoe Shine and Umberto D had an idea for a film which he later entitled The War. After negotiations, Jadran Film in Yugoslavia agreed to make this film according to Zavattini's scenario.

The story is about Ton and Maria, two young people who are about to get married, but on their proposed wedding day, war breaks out. Being young and innocent they do not fully understand the tragedy and atrocity of war, so in spite of everything, they still want to get married. But just at the moment they are about to pronounce the decisive word, "Yes", the bombardment commences and the marriage ceremony is not completed. They are swept up in the turbulence of the first days of the war.

Gradually it becomes evident to them that all that is left for them is to revolt against the initiators of war. It is then that an atomic bomb Is dropped on their village. By chance, Ton and Maria are not killed in the catastrophe. But these events have their consequences which are not revealed until the couple leaves the devastated town to start life afresh.

The script provided director Bulajic with a difficult subject, and he has attempted to intertwine both the grotesque and the tragic aspects of the material as well as including some comic scenes - albeit ones with a bitter overtone. Bulajic is noted abroad as the director of Tram Without a Timetable.

See also...


In the spring of 1946 a great migration of landless peasants took place in Yugoslavia, organised by the government; a movement from the arid, rocky areas to the fertile plains of Voyvodina. Owing to ... More »

The Stone and the Sea

From the mountains of Yugoslavia the rocky shores meet the sea in wonderful landscapes and towns. Old towns, lonely castles and mountain spurs wrapped in cloud confront the traveller on every journey. More »

Machines to Move the Mail

A survey of the electronic equipment developed by the G.P.O in Britain to deal with the ever increasing number of letters, packets and parcels sent through the post. ... More »

I + I = I

The Everyman hero of Ion Popescu Gopo's many cartoon films, is bent on solving some mathematical problems, but he is side-tracked by fantasies… ... More »

The Perfection of Matter

The study of alchemy is shown as an extension of Greek philosophy and the precursor of moder science. ... More »

The Cruise

A group of passengers on a pleasure cruise have placed their trust in a multi-faced helmsman and chief steward. A lottery gives the winners an opportunity to play their tune on a magnificent juke ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director