“I do not hide my camera. I do not hide the fact that I am making a film.
The hidden camera is a scam. It is all right to use in films on timid animals,
but it has no place in films with people. “
— Zelimir Zilnik
Zelimir Zilnik, the internationally renowned filmmaker from Novi Sad in the former Yugoslavia, practices a form of verite catalyst filmmaking intended to provoke both audiences and governments. Since the mid-1960s, he has pursued a socially engaged, activist cinema that questions the political status quo in Europe and his native post-Yugoslav homeland. Says film scholar Pavle Levi: “There is probably no filmmaker who has explored the dynamics of postwar European politics, economy and culture with more persistence and rigor than he has.” In more than 80 films, Zilnik has tested the limits of genre by working in a variety of forms — documentary, fiction and docu-fiction. He is an early pioneer of docudrama or what is now termed ‘hybrid documentary’, often blending actuality, comedy and dramatic narrative. His subjects and themes span the gamut of contemporary European history: nationalism, border politics, poverty, immigrant communities in Western Europe, and the legacy of socialism. For Doc Talks his program included:
Uprising in Jazak (18 min., 1973) A village remembers how it opposed occupying forces in WWII.
Kenedi Goes Back Home (75 min., 2003) The consequences of European Union for economic migrants.