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Source:  The New Yorker

A crucial and often overlooked element of documentary filmmaking is standpoint: not the filmmaker’s abstractly intellectual point of view but her physical and visual one—her personal, experiential relationship to her subject.

Mila Turajlić’s documentary, “The Other Side of Everything,” gets its energy and its inspiration from a clear sense of place: she filmed it in the Belgrade apartment in which she grew up; her subject is her mother, Srbijanka Turajlić, a retired professor, political activist, and, briefly, political official; and the film’s starting point is a set of doors in the apartment that neither mother nor daughter has ever looked behind.

They were closed and sealed, shortly after World War II, by an official of Yugoslavia’s new Communist regime, who partitioned the family’s spacious apartment and installed other residents behind them.

The subject of “The Other Side of Everything” is Srbijanka’s political activity, centered on her resistance to Slobodan Milošević’s repressive and genocidal post-Yugoslav regime and the price that she is still paying for her activism.

More broadly, the movie looks at the collapse and dissolution of Yugoslavia, the wars and slaughters that followed, and the fragile efforts to create a democratic resistance and then a modern democracy in Serbia, to replace the ruins of Milošević’s regime.

Read the story at The New Yorker.

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