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Yugoslav Film Archive, 1 Uzun Mirkova St.
6-16 June 2022


The Nitrate Film Festival, its 24th edition, will be held in the traditional timeframe from 6 to 16 June in the Yugoslav Film Archive. A varied program, with an abundance of the most diverse genres and films, of which many will have their Serbian premiere, or have only recently been discovered or identified, will present 48 valuable works from 31 countries form Europe, Japan, China, and USA.

The Italian film The Last Days of Pompeii from 1926 will be screened at the opening ceremony. It is co-directed by Carmine Gallone and Amleto Palermi, who also wrote the screenplay based on the novel of the same name by British writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton.

The three-hour film tells a complex story about the love of the aristocrat Glauco and the beautiful Greek girl Ione, the intrigues of an evil priest of the temple of Isis, young Christians, and a blind slave girl. There is also a scene with wild beasts in a crowded amphitheater. At the moment the unjustly condemned Glauco enters the arena, the lion retreats, sensing the impending danger. The volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius starts, causing mass panic and devastating destruction of the city. However, some protagonists will find salvation on a ship in the bay.

A German critic of the specialized magazine Film-Kurier describes this film as the testimony to artistic conservatism of the Italians. “For an Italian film director, it is not the moving picture that is important, but the picture as a whole. On another note, the images are borrowed from opera, because every Italian hero resembles a heroic tenor in his attitude.”

The festival selector and the Head of Film Archive, Aleksandar Saša Erdeljanović highlights that the program features films by renowned authors, such as Ernst Lubitsch, Julien Duvivier, Kenji Mizoguchi, Erich von Stroheim, Roberto Rossellini, Victor Tourjansky, Fritz Lang, Carmine Gallone, Maurice Turner, Xie Jin, Segundo de Chomón, Robert Siodmak, etc.

With great pleasure Erdeljanović also announces the screening of the digitally restored classic of the Yugoslav Black Wave films Holy Sand (1968), directed by the great poet and filmmaker Miroslav Antić, which instantly ended up in the bunker due to the prohibited topics of Cominform and the island of Goli otok.

After two editions during the coronavirus pandemic, the Festival resumes in better conditions. A large number of guests are expected – archivists, journalists, film theorists and historians from all corners of the world, who will share their impressions and views on the future of films and film archive in general, while watching the masterpieces of world cinema.