EXCLUSIVE: Teaser for Rotterdam title Landscapes of Resistance
- Marta Popivoda’s sophomore film will world-premiere in the Tiger Competition at this year’s IFFR
In Marta Popivoda’s new documentary, Landscapes of Resistance [+see also:
interview: Marta Popivoda
film profile], which is set to world-premiere in the Tiger Competition section of this year’s IFFR (1-7 February), viewers will “travel through the landscapes” of the turbulent life of Sofija Sonja Vujanović, a 97-year-old antifascist fighter who was one of the first female partisans in Yugoslavia and a member of the resistance in Auschwitz. Inspired by the revolutionary books she received from a classmate in high school, Sonja joined the communist and antifascist organisation in the late 1930s and, in 1941, became a partisan fighter in German-occupied Serbia. Ultimately, she was captured, tortured and, after several other prisons and concentration camps, was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There, she became a member of the resistance and a leader of its combat unit. For over ten years, the director and Sonja’s granddaughter (and co-writer) Ana Vujanović recorded their conversations with Sonja. What starts off as a celebration of the resistance of one woman and her comrades gradually turns into a cinematic antifascist manifesto as the filmmakers become more and more strongly confronted with the rise of fascism in Europe today.
Popivoda’s first documentary, Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body, premiered at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale and was later screened at many festivals. The film is also part of the permanent collection of New York’s MoMA. On her new effort, Popivoda collaborated with director of photography Ivan Marković, editor Jelena Maksimović and sound designer Jakov Munižaba.
Talking about her film’s main themes, Popivoda told Cineuropa: “I am a feminist, queer, and antifascist artist and cultural worker. One of the main concerns in my work is the relation between memory and history. Today, for me, it means questioning the rising tide of fascism and the radicalisation of class society. Antifascist resistance is the film’s central theme, and it’s told from two perspectives. The main perspective is that of Sonja’s life story, which starts amidst the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s. Sonja is an extremely suggestive storyteller, capable of talking about past events without hindsight. She took us directly into the atmosphere and mindset of the time that gave birth to antifascist resistance. The other is the contemporary perspective of the two of us, the scriptwriters – Marta Popivoda and Ana Vujanović – a queer couple and leftist activists from Belgrade, who emigrated to Berlin. We visited and interviewed Sonja for over ten years, confronting her story with our own experiences of rising fascism in Europe today.”
Landscapes of Resistance was produced by Dragana Jovović and Marta Popivoda for Serbia’s Theory at Work, and by Jasmina Sijerčić for France’s Bocalupo Films. Zsofi Lili Kovacs served as the executive producer. Bocalupo Films is also in charge of its world sales.
Check out our exclusive teaser below:
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