The Museum of Modern Art Presents Black Wave to White Ray: Yugoslav Films of the 1960s
The Museum of Modern Art will be showing the film series Black Wave to White Ray: Yugoslav Films of the 1960s. When the critic Vladimir Jovičić coined the term “Black Wave” in 1969, he meant it as a dismissive nickname for a Yugoslavian national cinema that had become, in his opinion, unhealthily fixated on the dark side of human experience. Filmmakers such as Dušan Makavejev, Aleksandar Petrović, and Živojin Pavlović dealt with once-taboo topics like sex, war, and social alienation with a distinctive dark humor and brilliant formal invention. Although many of these films were banned or censored by the country’s socialist government, they attracted enough international attention to achieve a measure of freedom unthinkable in the other Eastern Bloc countries. Unfortunately, many of these films disappeared from distribution when the national government collapsed amid the civil wars of the 1990s. This 15-film program is a preliminary attempt to reclaim some of that lost work, as selected by film historian Mina Radovic with the gracious cooperation of the Yugoslav Cinematheque and Delta Video of Belgrade, the Croatian Film Archive, the Slovenian Film Centre, and the Cinematheque of North Macedonia.