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Ko to tamo peva: A Dark Comedy About the Last Days of Yugoslavia

Ko to tamo peva: A Dark Comedy About the Last Days of Yugoslavia

Ko to tamo peva (Who's Singin' Over There?) is a 1980 Yugoslav film written by DuÅan KovaÄeviÄ and directed by Slobodan Å ijan. It is a dark comedy and features an ensemble cast. The film tells a story about a group of passengers traveling by bus to Belgrade in 1941, during the last days of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, just before the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia.

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The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival and was voted the best Serbian movie made in the 1947â1995 period by the Yugoslav Board of the Academy of Film Art and Science. The film is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Yugoslav cinema and a cult classic in Serbia.

The film opens with the signature song Za Beograd (For Belgrade), sung by two Romani youths into the camera. The song continues throughout the film as a leitmotif for the doomed journey of the travelers. The film follows the adventures and misfortunes of a colorful group of random passengers on a dilapidated bus, owned by KrstiÄ Sr. and driven by his impressionable and dim-witted son MiÅko. Along the way, they are joined by a priest and a pair of young newlyweds who are on their way to the seaside for their honeymoon.

The travelers are faced with numerous difficulties: an army roadblock forcing a detour, a farmer ploughing the road which, he claims, stretches over his land, a flat tire, a funeral, two feuding families, a shaky bridge, KrstiÄ Jr.'s recruitment into the army, and a lost wallet. All these slow the bus down and expose rifts among the travelers. During the early morning of Sunday, 6 April, amid rumours of war, they finally reach Belgrade only to be caught in the middle of the Luftwaffe raid (Operation Punishment). The only apparent surviving passengers are the two Romani musicians who sing the film's theme song before the end.

Ko to tamo peva is a film that combines humor and tragedy, satire and realism, nostalgia and criticism. It depicts the absurdity and futility of war, the fragility and diversity of human life, and the beauty and tragedy of Yugoslav history and culture.

If you want to watch this film online for free, you can find it on various websites such as[^1^] or[^3^]. However, we recommend that you support the original creators and distributors by purchasing or renting a legal copy of the film from International Home Cinema[^2^] or other sources.

The film is full of memorable characters and scenes that have become iconic in Serbian culture. Some of the most famous ones are:

  • The World War I veteran who constantly repeats "I was at the Salonica Front" and claims to have a premonition of war.

  • The Germanophile who praises Hitler and tries to convince the others that Germany is their friend.

  • The budding singer who dreams of becoming a star and sings patriotic songs.