Jan 8, 2012

Parada, 2011

Parada, 2011
Director: Srdjan Dragojević
Cast: Nikola Kojo, Miloš Samolov, Hristina Popović, Goran Jevtić

Stage: Local colloseum, Saturday night, packed with crowd. Only a few seats left :) Luckily I am alone so I don't really care :)

Parada in short: A homophobic, middle-aged, Serbian gangster ends up sacrificing himself to protect Gay freedom in his country. RADMILO (35) and MIRKO (30) are young and successful gay couple, and they would be a happy couple anywhere else except in - Serbia. They try to live discreetly but still, every day they are abused by the homophobic majority. Plus, Mirko is a gay rights activist, and his dream is to organize the first successful PRIDE event in Belgrade. This is almost a "mission impossible"; in 2001, an attempt to hold PRIDE in Belgrade ended up in bloodshed. One decade later, the situation is not much better - nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations prepare another massacre in case of holding the gay parade, while the police refuse to provide protection for the participants. A strange couple arrives in Radmilo's and Mirko's life - LEMON (45) an ex criminal and war veteran, the owner of a small security company and his fiance - PEARL (30) a beauty parlor owner.

Preps: Well, the director is famous for some pieces that were quite notorious a while ago (Lepa sela lepo gore, Rane, Mi nismo andjeli) and I loved them for the dark irony and sadness, yet beauty they reveal as oppose to a simple Hollywood depicting the same scenes (there are some attempts of making Balcan wars and regional disputes popularized, yet it seems only balcan directors are able to do it properly for a different passion they feel towards these same historical actions).

In many ways it can see like a pact between different nations, because the final team to defend the rights of a minority, is constructed of different nations and representatives that shared terror in the war, yet remained friends. It is almost scary seeing them together, because based on the ex-yu war experience, you just expect them to get into a fight. After a while you can be assured they really remained friends and they are interested in a special deal Limun is preparing for them. Maybe for the sake of old times, maybe for the challenge it poses, because it is something none of those mostly homophobic people has done in his life service, maybe for some other reasons. It is truly nice to see them work together, although all the time I am still wondering, what the f.. :) - in a positive way. In no imagination could these five gentlemen work together 15 years ago. They couldn't stand each other at that point and would shoot on spot at each other.

In any case, the issue they need to deal with (on the outside and mostly on the inside), is their homophobic view of the world. Are gay people really people? First to accept this in order to defend their parade. Can you really defend something you don't believe in? Limun at first claims you can. You killed for money, you raped for money, now you are telling me you cannot defend gay people because they are gay? At some point he realizes that his own people really won't work for any amount at all, because they don't want to be connected with gays in any way. Terrifying feeling, watching how high the level of homophobia still is. I am sure most of the countries could practically share the same level, as gay people aren't treated as humans in most of the countries throughout the world. In Slovenia, my country, this is maybe not so violently shown (in the streets), but they aren't treated equal and maybe sometimes physical (non seen) violence can be even worse.
Serbia, in this sense, and Belgrade, is depicted as the country where mob rules the streets and even cops are bribed, so they act the way head mob people want them to. Limun as a powerful man, still finds it extremely difficult to persuade anyone to work for gay, instead of being a sheep and follow the crowd that casts stones towards this minority. The gay parade in this sense is only a metaphore, a separation between the traditional world (my son was ok before, because he was straight. I don't know what you are trying to persuade him into - the words of Radmilo's father) and the new age thinking (the woman of Limun, Biserka, clearly in favor of new age ideas, gays and people that think in a profound, cultural way, the way people that are strictly against gays, cannot). So this metaphore and the fight of 100 men towards a few individuals is more a quest of Sizif, but important one, as of that derive the following parades.

Can you change the way you see the world, if you are living in a scenery for complete lifetime? Can Limun really love gays? I believe, he can learn respect (hence, he follows them one year afterwards on the second parade). He will never be able to really love a gay as an equal. But he will treat them with respect, he learns in the complete setting of searching for defenders of parade. You aren't really born and choose what sex are you going to admire and have lust for. So you shouldn't be judged, because it's not really a mistake/weakness/choice. It's a fact and the world should realize it. Unfortunately there will always be groups like the one fighting against parade, individuals that feel their belief/sex/race/political side is better or the only one that is right. As long as those groups have access to weapons, we are in a threat of violence towards minorities. As said, seen in all the countries all around the world. Serbia is known for its heart, passion, belief in right. All other balcan countries also, but Serbia exceeds in its black/white view of most things. Either my way or highway, something like that. Even more than the other countries around it. I believe this is also the reason why Belgrade was chosen to be the centre of this movie.

A superb movie, worth every minute and so ironically funny along the way. You cannot watch it and not laugh, you cannot stand not to cry in the end, at least in your heart. Touching story and a good shake of the hands of the nations, that Srdjan Dragojević made. An applause.

My personal rate: 9,0 (I would change a few lines, or maybe expand some scenes. Apart from that, superb movie, worth seeing and even more, worth thinking about a lot)

Parada on IMDB

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