Z. Mirkovic: The Long Road Through Balkan History

… and it is a road movie that talented Zeljko Mirkovic has made. Informative and done in an unpretentious way, this tv documentary takes the viewer from Austria in the North to the border between Macedonia and Greece in the South. On the road are two writers, Miljenko Jergović from Croatia (in the driver’s seat) and Marko Vidojkovic from Serbia. They drive in a Yugo, the most popular car during the existence of Yugoslavia. Big men in a small car that breaks down a couple of times during the trip through Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia. A comedy frame to a subject-wise serious documentary.

They go to Bleiburg, where partisans in 1945 massacred thousands of fleeing ustashes – the Croatian, anti-Yugoslav fascist separatist movement. They go to Zagreb, talk to president Mesic about different issues including the eventual (impossible?) return of Serb citizens of Croatia to their homeland. They visit the birthplace of Tito as well as his mausoleum. They talk to different historians. Go to Vukovar, to witness the scars from the civil war. And to Belgrade to talk to, among others, writer and politician Vuk Draskovic to end up in Macedonia, where the population is said to be either Antic Macedonian or Slavic Macedonian.

It feels a bit too long, although it is all very lightly conveyed and informative, with short archive glimpses, and at a general level so also beginners of Balkan history will get something out of it. Must be good for education as well.

Serbia, 2010. 58 mins. (85 mins. film-version exists as well)


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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