Invoked is a political comedy with tragic consequences that, observing one of the weirdest periods of Serbian political history, follows five former presidential candidates. We see these now-maladjusted anti-heroes recall their participation in Serbia’s first multi-party elections of 1990, and relive that event that proved so fateful for all five of them, not realizing that they actually only played supporting roles. Their political differences are enormous, as the candidates range from relatively progressive and ecologically aware, all the way to ultra-nationalists. Coming into contact with these would-be presidents of Serbia that they find strewn all across the country, Papić and Vučo take their statements and juxtapose them with archival news clips, talk shows and meetings held during the fateful campaign. This whimsically edited film evokes the nearly surreal and buffoonish atmosphere of that tumultuous time. The election in question included nearly 50 political parties, including the Great Rock’n’Roll Party that promoted “sex, debauchery, madness and drugs”. Their idea was to show that “any fool in Serbia can start a political party” – but only one fool can win. After the evil spirit of nationalism was released from its bottle, what followed was the destruction of war and the abhorrent events that we know all too well. Could it have gone a different way? Papić and Vučo laconically reject this question and approach the archival footage with pointed irony, showing how old pictures demand a new treatment, while ancient political themes that are never outgrown continue to resonate dissonantly throughout the region. (DP)
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with directors Luka Papić and Srđo Vučo.
Awards and festivals:
IDFA (2022) – world premiere; Pordenone (2023); Beldocs (2023)
Luka Papić is a filmmaker born in 1989 in Vrbas. In 2011, he enrolled in film studies at the HFBK University of Fine Arts Hamburg. In 2016, he graduated in the class of Angela Schanelec. He was a recipient of the K.H. Ditze grant, was supported by the Freundeskreis project development fund, and was a recipient of the Nachwuchs grant for further scientific and artistic development after studies, as an award for best graduation film of generation 2016. His latest film Bez (Without) won the jury prize for Best Medium Length Film at Visions du Réel in Neon, Grand Prix at Belgrade’s Beldocs festival, and a special mention at the UnderhillFest in Podgorica. He is currently based in Belgrade.
Srđa Vučo is a producer and director born in 1984 in Belgrade. He works in film and TV production and marketing. He graduated with a degree in Cultural Management at the University of Arts in Belgrade. He is the author and organizer of the exhibition Glasačka mašina (The Voting Machine, 2011) that opened in Belgrade and subsequently toured Serbia for 18 months. The exhibition was also shown in Zagreb in 2013 as part of the Days of Serbian Culture.