"I’m a poor lonesome cowboy and a long way from home…": Serbian Documentary Films about Guest Workers

  • Marija Krstić Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
Serbian documentary films, guest workers, visual anthropology, cultural notions

Abstract

In this paper I will analyze Serbian documentary films about guest workers dating from the last decade of the 20th and the first decade of the 21st century, using the perspective of visual anthropology. I question the popular cultural notions about guest workers in films Весеље у Ждрелу (A Celebration in Zdrelo) by author Kamenko Katic, Звона позне јесени (The Bells of Late Autumn) by author Zoran Milenovic, Кад је Милорад удавао ћерку (When Milorad Gave His Daughter in Marriage) by author Vladimir Milisavljevic, Странац тамо, странац овде (A Foreigner There, a Foreigner Here) by author Sandra Mandic and 242 метра живота (242 Meters of Life) by author Novica Savic. The films deal with a number of issues: the economic aspects of guest workers’ lives, their liminal character, the issues of the second and third generations of guest workers, going away "temporarily" to work, and religious rituals. Even though the films were made recently, they all follow the lives of Vlach and Serbian, or rather Yugoslav guest workers who left to find temporary work abroad in Western Europe in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This serves the purpose of avoiding to deal with contemporary reasons for emigrating from Serbia and thus the possible critiques of current regimes or policies in power at the time the films were made.

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Published
2016-02-27
How to Cite
Krstić, M. (2016). "I’m a poor lonesome cowboy and a long way from home…": Serbian Documentary Films about Guest Workers. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology, 8(2), 499-518. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v8i2.8

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