Slovenia My Homeland / Slovenija moja dežela

country, yearSlovenija moja dezela
Serbia/Slovenia, 2010

genre
documentary

running time
50′

directed by
Dimitar Anakiev

language
Slovenian, English, Bosnian

subtitles
Slovenian

synopsis
American TV producer Dale Hurd comes to Slovenia 20 years after its independence from Yugoslavia. He wants to investigate the case of Erased and meets two Bosnian Muslims – Irfan and Nisveta. They changed their cultural identity after the independence of Slovenia and tried to assimilate their new culture. Nisveta converts from Islam to Christianity and becomes an important member of the Baptist Church in Ljubljana. On the other hand Irfan continues to live in past times of Yugoslav communism. He becomes a member of Youth Work Brigades Club in Ljubljana. Through the characters author wanted to investigate the reasons for erasing 25.000 people from official records and finally found an attempt to correct and erase the history of communism and proletarian revolution in Yugoslavia. The new Lords of the Balkans did not wanted its communistic past and erasing people was designed to strongly cut the past regardless on proclaimed human rights and 20 years of suffering of erased people. That is why Nisveta and Irfan live schizophrenic life divided in two worlds: of past and present. Being at the same time Christian and Muslim is for the most of people unthinkable but Nisveta easily demonstrates the unimportance of cultural differences and shows that cultural identity cannot be a real new ideology on the Balkans. At the same time Irfan, through the imagination, demonstrates that differences and borders between the past and present can be blurred. Author through his film wanted also to point the resistance of his characters which are strongly inspired by glorious past that cannot be erased. Even more, the film Slovenia my Homeland is a kind of resistance itself, trying to define historic process and bring the truth to the audience in the best manner of Marxist ideology.

 

Dimitar Anakievabout the author
Dimitar Anakiev, an independent filmmaker, writer and poet, was born in Belgrade in 1960. He completed his Faculty of Medicine at University of Niš, Serbia. He resided in Slovenia, beginning in 1987 but shortly thereafter and without warning found himself among the victims of administrative ethnic cleansing (“Erased”). Anakiev purchased a small video camera and began his film career, in an attempt to make himself and other marginal Balkans’ people visible. The success of his films (including the Slovenian national film award) has made it possible for him to continue filmmaking as a screenwriter, director and producer. His company, Dimitar Anakiev Films (now Anakiev Production) specializes in socially engaged films of the Balkans in the post-communist era.

Anakiev’s filmography consists of 17 films among them documentaries: Amigo (2003), Rubbed Out (2004), Srpski ekseri (2007), Poslednji Žilnik (2008), Slovenija moja dežela (2012), shorts: Ti si jedini gazda ove kuće (2006) and feature fiction Normalno življenje (2012). All critics who were written about Anakiev’s films – among them Dr. Nikolai Jeffs (Ljubljana), Nataša Posel (Amnesty), Želim Žilnik (Serbia) and Dr. Stuart C. Aitken (San Diego, CA) – pointed activist character of Anakiev’s film-making. Using his films Anakiev was first who presented the topic of Slovenian erased Yugoslavs to world audience then systematically processed it in four films he has worked throughout the decade. Dimitar Anakiev is himself political activist, president of ZID (Association of Erased Workers). In September 2014 he and his organization organized Balkans’ Workers Conference in Ljubljana 2014, and within the conference Workers Film Festival was held. Anakiev co-edits international workers paper in Serbo-Croatian language: Novi borac-Jugoslovenska radnička tribina.