Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Pioniri Maleni (Little Pioneers), directed by Želimir Žilnik in 1968. Man, this film is punk rock. It's a documentary about homeless gypsy teens failed by the Yugoslavian education system and social services. The title is an ironic allusion to the Stalinist slogan that spoke of children as "little pioneers." Here we see how they have been forced to pioneer in a completely different way, begging and thieving and enduring all sorts of abuse in order to make ends meet. Bleak stuff, but it's astonishing to hear how frankly and buoyantly they describe their lives. There's a lot of bubble-gum smacking, mugging for the camera, practical jokes, and -- my favorite -- a lot of impromptu off-key singing. These kids don't give a SHIT. Seriously, check it out here (with English subtitles) or on youtube (no subs). I like the little face in the window in the second to last photo.