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Yugoslavia, 1972 (MIFF 1973)

Director: Aleksander Petrović

Aleksandar Petrovic's early films, One Day and Three, have been shown in the Melbourne Film Festival, and his I Also Knew Happy Gypsies enjoyed a commercial success in Australia. His latest film, based on Mikhail Bulgakov's novel, works on the level of fantasy, but the issues it deals with are familiar.

Just before it is due to be performed, Nicolai has his play, 'Pontius Pilate', banned by the theatrical bureaucracy in Moscow: both the unions and the critics condemn the play for its inflammatory ideas. For the Devil, in the guise of a magician named Woland, the play becomes a cause celebre and his revenge involves wreaking havoc upon those who have persecuted Nicolai. Meanwhile Nicolai has' fallen in love with the beautiful Margaret, but when he attempts to seek out the Devil, he is taken from her and imprisoned in an asylum. Woland manages to have the play staged, and, to celebrate the occasion, he shares some wine with Nicolai and Margaret. Yet all is not right ...

The film is set in the period following the Russian Revolution, and whilst ostensibly dealing with the contradictions between personal freedom and the people's rule in Russia of 1925, the story has a much wider implication.

See also...


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One Day More

There is a mud lake somewhere in Yugoslavia, immersion in which, people believe, will cure incurable diseases. Their belief is symbolic of man's innate aspiration to elevate himself throughout his ... More »


One girl, one bed and . . . one man. They negotiate. The price goes up . . . then down. Finally they reach an agreement. ... More »


A short feature film, which deals with an ordinary theme in an unusual way. The theme is that elderly people become superfluous in life and society, superfluous to themselves and to their nearest and ... More »

A Journey

Seven passengers are travelling in a railway carriage. As they pass through a tunnel, one of them disappears. The others try to find him, but all the doors are locked. Then comes another tunnel . . . ... More »


A fascist official in a little Croatian village decides to celebrate the anniversary of his appointment as local chief of the Party with a suitable cultural event. He wants the villagers to stage ... More »

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