I heard this story from my grandfather, Cvetko Kovacevic. As a boy, Cvetko looked after oxen during that famous Battle of Cer in 1914. Granddad transported the wounded soldiers from the front to the field hospital on an ox-drawn cart, and took the dead to the communal graveyard. He grew up with death, so didn’t view later wars and dying as anything ‘particularly special’.
Screenplay: Dusan Kovacevic
Director: Srdan Dragojevic
Director of photography: Dušan Joksimović
Scenery: Miljen Kreka – Kljaković
Costume designer: Marina Medenica
Sound: Svetolik Mića Zajac
Sound recorder: Momchil Bozhakov
Editor: Petar Marković
Composer: Aleksandar Ranđelović
Mask designer: Halid Redžebašić
Lazar Ristovski – Đorđe, Nataša Janjić – Katarina, Milutin Milošević – Gavrilo, Bora Todorović – Aleksa, Zoran Cvijanović – Mile Vuković, Dragan Nikolić – Sveštenik, Boris Milivojević – Rajko pevač, Branislav Lečić – Tasić, Mladen Andrejević – učitelj Mićun, Srđan Timarov – Mikan, Predrag Vasić – Vane siroče, Bojan Žirović – Žoja, Milena Dravić – tetka, Milena Predić – Jelena, Slobodan Boda Ninković – Ninko Belotić, Branislav Zeremski – Krivi Luka, Srđan Miletić – Vojo, Goran Jevtić – Dane, Ljuba Bandović – Baća, Miki Krstović – major, Jurij Colović Gaga – Trifun, Nikola Vujović – Stanić, Stefan Danailov – Minta ciganin, Milica Ostojić – Svraka 1, Mira Đurdđević – Svraka 2, Nesa Kratki Krišanović – Smiljanić, Boris Šavija – mladi vojnik, Predrag Damjanović – Gojko, Aleksandar Stojković – Milko podnarednik, Dušan Mazalica – Gavrilo Princip, Milan Tomić – žandar 1, Vladan Savić – žandar 2, Nina Grahovac – Danka, Verica Nikolić – Milanka, Sanda Balaban – Darinka.
FESTIVALS AND AWARDS
International Film Festival of India | 2009
Film Festival Cottbus | 2009
London Film Festival | 2009
Montreal World Film Festival | 2009
Cinema City-Novi Sad | 2009
Niš-Film festival | 2009
2009 | Montreal World Film Festival – Artistic Contribution Award: Srdjan Dragojevic
2009 | Gran pri NAISA at the festival in Nis, for the best male role at the festival, for the role of Djordje Dzandar
2009 | CINEMA CITY / NOVI SAD – Best Director Award for the National Class Competition Program
2009 | CINEMA CITY/ NOVI SAD – Award for the best male role in the contest “National Class” is awarded to actor Lazar Ristovski
Born 1963, Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Received his BA in Clinical Psychology at the University of Philosophy Studies in 1987, and his BA for Film and TV Directing at the University of Drama Arts in Belgrade in 1992. Teaches at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade
- 2005. “We are not angels 2” (Mi nismo andjeli 2) – 85 minutes / production Delirium films, Belgrade. Film „A2“ with over 810,000 viewers had by far most viewers in 2005 and has received numerous awards at domestic film festivals, such as best director, best production design, special effects, music, editing, make-up, etc.
- 1998. “The Wounds” (Rane) – 103 minutes / production Cobra Film, Belgrade. GRAND PRIX – STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 1998. FIPRESCI – THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 1998.
- 1998. FIPRESCI – THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 1998.
- 995 – “Read a Book Once in a While so that you don’t Make a Fool of Yourself in a Group” ( Katkad valja pročitati poneku knjigu da ne ispadnete glupi u društvu). Published by Haos, Belgrade.
- 1988 – “Uncle Blacksmith Shoes the Baby“ (Čika kovač potkiva bebu). Published by Mashich, Belgrade
- 1986 – “Book of Action Poetry“ (Knjiga akcione poezije). Published by Rad, Belgrade. Recipient of the Branko Radicevich Award, former-Yugoslavia’s most prestigious poetry prize.
Dusan Kovacevic was born on 12th July, 1948 at Mrdjanovac, near Šabac, Serbia, Yugoslavia. He studied at the Theatre, Film, Radio and Televizion Academy in Belgrade, graduating from the Department Of Dramatic Writing in 1973. Since then he has been a member of the Serbian Writers Association.
- 1973 “THE MARATHON RUNNERS ARE RUNNING AN HONORARY LAP”
- 1973 RADOVAN III
- 1976 “WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES FOLK DRINK”
- 1977 “SPRING IN JANUARY”
- 1977 “SPACE DRAGON” – childrens book in verse
- 1982 “MEETING PLACE”
- 1986 SAINT GEORGE SHOOTS THE DRAGON
- 1976 “THE BRUTES” – directed by Z.NikoliC
- 1978 “SPECIAL TREATMENT” – directed by G. Paskaljevic
- 1980 “WHO IS SINGING OVER THERE?” – directed by S.Šijan
- 1981 “THE MARATHON RUNNERS ARE RUNNING AN HONORARY LAP”-directed by S.Šijan
- 1984 “BALKAN SPY”-directed by D.Kovačević and B.Nikolić
- 1990 “MEETING PLACE”-derected by G.Marković
- 1995 “UNDERGROUND”-directed by E.Kusturica
- 1995 “TRAGEDIE BURLESQUE”-directed by G.Marković
First prize for the screenplay of “Balkan Spy” at the Montreal Festival, Canada; first Chaplin award ever in Vevey Switzerland for The film of “Who is Singing Over There?”;
it has also won 20 awards at various international film festivals : Valencia (Spain), Marcilles (France), Vienna (Austria), various awards in Germany, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, first prize at Cannes television Festival.
1995 Palme d`Or of Canes for the film “UNDERGROUND”.In 1995 the film “TRAGEDIE BURLESQUE” was awarded at the Festival in Montreal Canada.
Member of the European Film Academy
Lazar Ristovski is one of the most prominent Serbian actors. He has played in over 80 movies and directed 2. Lazar Ristovski is the founder and CEO of the production house Zillion film. With Lazar Ristovski in charge, Zillion film has produced and co-produced 17 feature-length films in twenty-three years, the films that participated in all major world festivals. We have been in Kan, Berlin, Toronto, and won prestigious awards. Our movies have been sold around the world. Lazar Ristovski was the leading actor in Kusturica’s cult film Underground which won the Golden Palm.
As a producer, Lazar Ristovski has always been bold and innovative. He has always been open to new ideas and has given a chance to young directors. As an actor, he has an impressive biography and he is an acclaimed producer. His debut film, The White Suit was screened as part of The International Critics’ Week program in Cannes.
- 2019. LEECHES
- 2018. WHAT COUNTRY IS THIS – The role of Karlo
- 2018. KING PETAR I – The role of King Petar I Karadjordjevic
- 2018. THE MAN WHO BOUGHT THE MOON – the role of Taneddu
- 2018. NEVERENDING PAST – A man looking for a dead son (segment “III story”)
- 2010-2017. THE VILLAGE IS BURNING, GRANDMA IS COMBING (TV series) – The role of Jovan
- 2016. DRIVER’S DIARY – the role of Ilja
- 2016. WORLD CHAMPIONS – the role of Tito
- 2016. AUF KURZE DISTANZ – uloga Aco Gorić
- 2016. ON THE OTHER SIDE/Zrinko Ogresta/lead role
- 2015 PANTA DRAŠKIC PRICE OF HONOR – the role of Panta Draskic
- 2015 FOR THE KING AND ABROAD – the role of Djeneral Mirkovic
- 2014. November Man– Roger Donaldson
- 2011. The White Lions by Lazar Ristovski lead role
- 2009 HONEYMOONS – by Goran Paskaljević
- 2009 SAINT GEORGE SHOOT THE DRAGON – by Srđan Dragojević – lead role
- 2009 DEVIL’S TOWN – by Vladimir Paskaljevic
- 2007 S.O.S. – Slobodan Sijan – lead role
FANTA u Rimu.
- 2011. The White Lions – by Lazar Ristovski
- 1999 “The White Suit”
- Premijera filma je bila na Filmskom festivalu u Kanu u okviru programa Nedelja kritike.
- “Belo Odelo ” je bio jugoslovenski kandidat za nagradu američke Akademija za filmsku umetnost i nauku.
- Dobio je nagradu za Umetnički film –Gibelina-Italija.
- Na festivalu, Panorama evropskog filma, u Atini osvojio je nagradu kao Najbolji film u evropskoj konkurenciji.
- Na festivalu Mostra de Valensia-dobio je nagradu za najbolju fotografiju-Milorad Glušica.
- 1998 “Movie Star”- Short feature film. (22`)
- 2016. “ON THE OTHER SIDE”- Zrinko Ogresta-coproducer
- 2015 “Narodni heroj Ljiljan Vidić”-Ivan Goran Vitez-coproducer
- 2013 “Sveštenikova deca“ – Vinko Brešan – koproducent
- 2011 “The White Lions” – by Lazar Ristovski
- 2009 “Saint George shoots the Dragon” – Srdjan Dragojević
- 2006 “The Optimist’s” – Goran Paskaljević
- 2006 “Tomorrow Morning” – Oleg Novković
- 2006 “Tailor’s secret” – Miloš Avramović
- 2004 “Midwinter Night`s Dream” – Goran Paskaljević
- 2004 “Falling into Paradise” – Miloš Radović
- 2002 “Little Night Music” – Director-Dejan Zečević
- 2001 “Boomerang” – Dragan Marinković- Berlinale-Panorama
- 1999 “The White Suit”- Lazar Ristovski – Semaine de la Critique, Cannes Film Festival.
- The white suit
- Kako sam dobio Oskara
- Simple stories
The place: A village in Serbia on the bank of the river Sava, the natural border with the mighty Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The population of the village is divided between two radically opposed factions – the able-bodied potential army recruits and the invalid veterans from the previous two Balkan wars.
There is bitter animosity between the two groups.
Soon, at the start of the First World War, the healthy population is mobilized. The invalids left behind in the village try to take advantage of the soldiers’ wives and sisters. News about this reaches the Serbian soldiers in the trenches a few days before the expected enemy attack.
To prevent a mutiny, the Serbian High Command decides to take the invalids to the front line and thus deal with “the inconvenience”.
hese extraordinary events, based on a true story, are the backdrop for an ill-fated love triangle between a young war invalid, a local policeman and his wife, that ends in a way that resembles an ancient Greek tragedy.
REVIEWS: THE TIMES
Epic, visionary Serbian war film from director Srdjan Dragojevic, about conflict, passion and jealousy in a village facing the prospect of World War I. Srdjan Dragojevic’s Pretty Flame, Pretty Village was one of the key films of 90s Balkan cinema. His latest, one of Serbia’s most expensive productions to date, is a hugely ambitious World War One drama, with Dušan Kovačević (who wrote Kusturica’s Underground) adapting his own stage play. Set in a village on the Sava River, on Serbia’s border with Austro-Hungary, the film starts in 1912, as two men return from war with Turkey.
An ambitious, swaggering blend of Zhivago-esque historical romance and Kusturica-style rural grotesque, this is an atmospheric drama with a moving apocalyptic climax. Historical filmmaking with the grandest of flourishes, St George Shoots the Dragon is, of course, implicitly as much about recent Balkan conflicts as about the past.
A Sveti Georgije Ubiva Azdahu D.O.O. (Serbia) production in association with Oskar Film and Camera
With: Lazar Ristovski, Millutin Milosevic, Natasa Janjic, Bora Todorovic, Zoran Cvijanovic, Dragan Nikolic, Predrag Vasic, Branislav Lecic, Boris Milivojevic, Milena Dravic, Mladen Adrejevic, Srdjan Timarov, Bojan Zirovic, Slobodan Boda Ninkovic, Milena Predic, Branislaw Zeremski, Srdjan Miletic, Goran Jevtic, Ljuba Bandovic.
Purportedly the third most expensive Serbian film ever produced, “St. George Shoots the Dragon” follows by some distance ”More” Srdjan Dragojevic’s “Pretty Village, Pretty Flame” and “The Wounds” — both ’90s pics that examined consequences of the war in Bosnia — with another antiwar statement. This one, however, takes place nearly a century ago, when Serbia fought in a series of conflicts culminating in WWI. Long-aborning feature sports a robust tenor and impressive scale, but the intended tragicomic sweep is shackled to a tepid romantic triangle of very little rooting interest. International sales will be spotty for this Montreal World fest prize-winner. Adapted by Dusan Kovacevic from his 1984 play, the pic commences with a sepia prologue in which strapping young soldier Gavrilo (Millutin Milosevic) loses an arm during the 1912 Serbo-Turkish War. Returning home, he’s too embittered to marry Sarajevo fiancee Katarina (Natasa Janjic) as planned. Camera. (International sales: Wild Bunch, Paris.) Produced by Dusan Kovacevic, Lazar Ristovski, Srdjan Drojevic, Milko Josifov and Biljana Prvanovic. Directed by Srdjan Dragojevic. Screenplay, Dusan Kovacevic. Camera (color), Dusan Joksimovic; editor, Petar Markovic; music, Aleksandar Randjelovic; production designer, Miljen Kreka-Kljakovic; art director, Branimir Babic; set decorators, Predrag Petrovic, Lana Prolic; costume designer, Marina Medenica; makeup designer, Halid Redzebasic; digital effects, Nebojsa Rogic; sound, Svetolik Mica Zajc, Momchil Bozhkov. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (competing), Sept. 3, 2009. Running time: 120 MIN. ”Close”
Two years later, he’s settled in a grubby village on the Sava River, smuggling goods across the border from Australia alongside other, mostly war-wounded societal castoffs. Meanwhile, Katarina has married his former army superior, George (Lazar Ristovski), if only because George is now stationed as police chief in that same village. She and Gavrilo carry on a none-too-secret affair — soon both she and his barely acknowledged peasant wife are carrying his babies — while the nobly suffering George stews. Eventually the Great War comes along. Somewhat relieved to exchange his domestic battles for a more familiar, clear-cut kind, George returns to military service. Gavrilo is deemed unfit for duty, until fears that not-entirely-disabled veterans such as himself are plowing more than fields back home result in all such “rejects” being ordered back to the front. Climactic massacre finds the rivalrous male protags pondering whether to off one another before the enemy Austrians can. Extensive supporting cast of rudely alive rural types does not neglect to include village idiot, hunchback, precocious orphan tyke or three-legged dog. Equally broad are the portentous and/or religious symbolism. Dragojevic directs the noisy, sprawling tale in colorful, confident fashion, at times recalling the rambunctious grotesquerie of Emir Kusturica’s “Underground” (a more successful Kovacevic adaptation, also starring Ristovski). But it all seems schematic rather than felt, as if original inspiration had run out during a too-lengthy and troubled production history.
Biggest problem is the central romance, which is neither convincing nor appealing. Milosevic sticks to one macho, sexy glower; Janjic’s beauty alone can’t render enchanting a prematurely emancipated heroine whose defining trait is hissy-fit petulance. Ristovski is solid as usual, but as written, his sad-sack cuckold is more pathetic than sympathetic.
Effect throughout is busy but hollow, despite the tragic-epic-romance notes hopefully signaled by Aleksandar Randjelovic’s orchestral score. When the pic ends on the statement, “And so it went, through the 20th century,” it feels like a parting shrug rather than the intended passionate protest against Serbia’s near-incessant violent struggles.
Though post-production was reportedly delayed (the pic was shot three years ago), then rushed and underfunded, tech/design contributions are all high-grade.
Srdjan Dragojevic’s “Pretty Village, Pretty Flame” and “The Wounds” — both ’90s pics that examined consequences of the war in Bosnia — with another antiwar statement. This one, however, takes place nearly a century ago, when Serbia fought in a series of conflicts culminating in WWI. Long-aborning feature sports a robust tenor and impressive scale, but the intended tragicomic sweep is shackled to a tepid romantic triangle of very little rooting interest. International sales will be spotty for this Montreal World fest prize-winner. Adapted by Dusan Kovacevic from his 1984 play, the pic commences with a sepia prologue in which strapping young soldier Gavrilo (Millutin Milosevic) loses an arm during the 1912 Serbo-Turkish War. Returning home, he’s too embittered to marry Sarajevo fiancee Katarina (Natasa Janjic) as planned.
Camera. (International sales: Wild Bunch, Paris.) Produced by Dusan Kovacevic, Lazar Ristovski, Srdjan Drojevic, Milko Josifov and Biljana Prvanovic. Directed by Srdjan Dragojevic. Screenplay, Dusan Kovacevic. Camera (color), Dusan Joksimovic; editor, Petar Markovic; music, Aleksandar Randjelovic; production designer, Miljen Kreka-Kljakovic; art director, Branimir Babic; set decorators, Predrag Petrovic, Lana Prolic; costume designer, Marina Medenica; makeup designer, Halid Redzebasic; digital effects, Nebojsa Rogic; sound, Svetolik Mica Zajc, Momchil Bozhkov. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (competing), Sept. 3, 2009. Running time: 120 MIN. ”Close”
REVIEWS: LOS ANGELES (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER)
Serbia’s entry in this year’s Oscar competition is an ambitious World War I epic, “St. George Shoots the Dragon,” that boasts striking visual effects, a skillful cast and a story that sometimes gets in the way of the impressive production.
Although the film is sumptuously mounted, the uphill battle facing most foreign films will work against the picture in the U.S. marketplace. ”More” ”Close”
The somewhat-convoluted script (written by Dusan Kovacevic) is set in a village near Serbia’s border with Austria-Hungary. The film opens in 1912, during an earlier Serbian war with Turkey, when one of the main characters, a young soldier named Gavrilo (Milutin Milosevic), loses an arm.
The first half of the movie jumps around, surveying a large number of characters, including the villagers, a band of smugglers, another woman involved with Gavrilo and a young orphan who is meant to guide us through the action. It’s sometimes difficult to keep track of all the characters and their relationships, though the lead actors give compelling performances.
Milosevic cogently conveys the anger of a wounded veteran. Ristovski fumes with jealousy while also convincing us of the character’s fundamental decency. Janjic is ravishing, which makes the two men’s obsession quite understandable.
As the film morphs into a penetrating anti-war drama, it becomes considerably more potent. Director Srdjan Dragojevic, who made “Pretty Village, Pretty Flame” in 1996, demonstrates undeniable talent. The battle scenes capture the chaos and brutality of trench warfare, and the finale builds a mournful power. Cinematography is rich, and the score adds to the movie’s impact. Although it’s easy to grow impatient during “St. George’s” early scenes, the haunting conclusion stays with you.