Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Dad The Socialist...or The Communist

In the true spirit of Donald Rumsfeld, I am always discovering "unknown unknowns" (things I didn't know that I didn't know) about Slovenia. Last night I got to watch this fantastic classic Slovenian film "My Dad, The Socialist Kulak" in Slovenian: Moj Ata, Socialisticni Kulak).

This film is a quirky little comedy about a Slovenian guy who fought in the army alongside the Russian Red Army, comes home to communism, and does his best to embrace it (farming his plot of land with the other loyal socialist farmers) while not really fully understanding how the system works and where his loyalties should lie. The characters are all pretty over the top, spouting off ideology, while not quite sure what they are talking about, and information is frequently misinterpreted which makes it a funny story above and beyond all the history...but the history lesson was also much appreciated. For example, I'd no idea that Yugoslavia was strongly allied with Stalin until 1948 when he and Tito had a major falling out (apparently over a Soviet film about the war which didn't give the Tito character a big enough role) and Yugoslavia turned towards a form of market socialism that was informally known as "Titoism" (ahhh, gotta admire the guy's ego).

A quick Google search shows that this film is sort of tough to get one's hands one, so I really lucked out on finding it on television. If I ever get a copy of the film, I'll see what I can do to put up a clip or two on the Youtube. It really is worth a look.


Lisa said...

That does look good! I'll keep my eyes peeled over here, since we do have a Slovenian film fest every autumn and they show relatively obscure things.

The Stalin-Tito break is an interesting historical moment, and is the reason Goli otok was pressed into service again. Tito needed a place to wharehouse so-called "Soviet sympathizers", and the islands in that area had long been used as concentration camps for various groups of "undesireables".

Camille Acey said...

Without giving the film away, I am not surprised to hear that.

Did you ever make it out to Goli Otok? I was there in 2007. The place is freaking scary, all the more so for being this totally abandoned totally non-touristy location.

Lisa said...
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Lisa said...

Yeah, I was there in April working (May 26 broadcast):

Much of the sound from my visit was pretty rough, what with the bura howling over my mic (and that's with a windscreen and me sheltering it as best as I could) but you get the idea. Texture, I guess. ;)

I agree, it is a spooky place. Most disheartingly, the guy who took me there said that 95% of the tourists he takes there go to sunbathe and swim, oblivious to what the island was. Then again, Goli isn't unique in having been used in such a way, and few people know or care about that either. Easier to let history be forgotten I guess.

Peggy Brunache said...

I don't know if I've written to you before--but you are the SH**! How cool are you?? At some point, I'd like to make a trip out to your part of the world. Would love to be in contact with you more regularly when you have the time.
Please, PLEASE tell me that you are detailing your experiences so that it will become a memoir someday.

Camille Acey said...

@peggy - Thanks! As you know, I am a big fan of you (and your mischievous little sweetfaced son!). As for memoiring, this blog is pretty much the extent of my note-taking but a lot of things are seered into my memory as funny stories that I don't think I'll ever be able to forget.

You are free to come visit, any old time you wish! I hope to make it to your side of the jolly old sometime soonish too. We will hang out!! :)

Blackgirl On Mars said...

This looks great! I love movies like these...the title is funny too.