Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

HOW THE WAR STARTED ON MY ISLAND
(Kako je poceo rat na mom otoku)

Year: 1996
Country: Croatia
Run Time: 95 minutes

This low-budget comedy surprised even its own creators by beating Hollywood invader "Independence Day" at the native box office. Done in the irreverent spirit of "M*A*S*H" but with a uniquely Eastern European sense of irony, HOW THE WAR STARTED ON MY ISLAND dares to make light of the civil conflict which erupted in 1991 when Croatia split from the Yugoslav Federation. A Croatian government voted to expel local Yugoslav military regiments, the armed "people's heroes" who held Tito's patchwork nation together for decades; violence broke out when deposed army officers resisted the order. Here it's "Comrade Major" Aleksi, ten-year-old CO of the resident encampment of a small Adriatic town, who refuses to lay down his weapons and surrender (by noon, so soldiers can catch the ferry home). Instead the paranoid Aleksi wires the compound with explosives and threatens to blast the whole community if he's threatened. As citizens perform a bizarre marathon variety/propaganda show outside to wewar down the holdouts, Croat leaders try to dupe Aleksi with an audacious hoax. Bresan's debut is a landmark satire from a troubled region. (In Croatian with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Ivo Bresan

Director
Vinko Bresan

Producer
Ivan Mudrinic

Cinematography
Zivko Zalar

Editing
Sandra Bresan

Principal Cast
Vlatko Dulic, Ljubomir Kerekes, Ivan Brkic, Leon Lucev, Goran Navojec

Film Contact
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