Agram, die Hauptstadt Kroatiens
Germany, NDH ,
Directed by: Oktavijan Miletić
Script: Alois König
Producer: Alfred Merwick
Production company: Tobis film-Svjetloton film
Cinematography: Oktavijan Miletić
Editing: Oktavijan Miletić
Format: c/b, b/w, 35mm
Running time: 9'
Oktavijan Miletić's film „Agram, die Haupstadt Kroatiens“ is the third and the last film in a series of collaborations which our cinema pioneer had with German propaganda machine. After „Bildhauerkunst in Kroatien“ (1940, still not found) and „Kroatisches Bauernleben“ (1942, found in 2003), Miletić made a short so called Kulturfilme about Zagreb in the period 1942-1943. Just like the earlier film about the life of Croatian peasants, this Miletić's film is also devoid of any reference to politics or war. The film presents cultural sites of the capital of the Independent State of Croatia: the cathedral (under construction even then!), St. Marc Church, Upper town, Ban Jelačić Square, everyday life of people on the main city square, construction of Rebro Hospital, construction of the mosque, Tomislav’s Square, (missing the statue of king Tomislav!), Croatian artists painting and creating sculptures, Croatian National Theatre as well as fragments of ballet “Licitarsko srce”. The film, although completed, never reached German or Croatian cinemas. The decision was evidently made suddenly so that film was not synchronized (music + narration). The reasons can only be guessed. They should be looked for in the fact that TOBIS company, the biggest German film company along with UFA, was forcefully appropriated by UFA in 1943, and in the fact that the same year Miletić began making the first Croatian feature film “Lisinski”. Anyway, the film remained in Reichsfilmarchiv until the collapse of the Third Reich. When the Russians entered Berlin Miletić's unfortunate film was taken as war pray to USSR. It was returned to Germany only in 1990. Since then until this spring the film was kept unknown of in Bundesfilmarchiv in Berlin. ZFF presents it to the Croatian audience with a great help from Bundesfilmarchiv which restored the film especially for this occasion and gave the original as a gift to the Croatian cinemateque. Daniel Rafaelić
Oktavijan Miletić (1902–1987, Zagreb) was a Croatian cinematographer and director. His avant-garde work in the period from 1928 to 1845 remains as one of the foundations of Croatian film. Miletić participated in an amateur film competition in Paris in 1933 with his Poslovi konzula Dorgena and received an award from Louis Lumière. His 1937 film Šešir was the first Croatian movie filmed with sound. In the Independent State of Croatia, Miletić filmed three cultural films for Germany's Tobis Film: Hrvatski kipari, Hrvatski seljački život and Agram, die Hauptstadt Kroatien. While all three films were originally thought lost, Daniel Rafaelić discovered Hrvatski seljački život in a Vienna film archive in 2004 and in 2008 discovered Agram, die Hauptstadt Kroatien in a German film archive.In 1942 he filmed Barok u Hrvatskoj, about the life of count Janko Drašković. In 1944 Miletić filmed the full-length feature Lisinski about the Croatian composer Vatroslav Lisinski.He spent the waning months of the Second World War working to safekeep the films of the Croatian state institute Hrvatski slikopis. In 1967 he received the Vladimir Nazor Award for lifetime achievement in film arts. The Oktavijan Award is awarded annually by the Croatian Association of Film Critics as part of the Days of Croatian Film.Miletić was one of the founders of the Zagreb film club in 1928.
Location and screening schedule: SC Cinema, Sunday, October 19th at 20.00