“Making a movie is not about making an atomic bomb and throwing it into the world, causing many people to be injured, but about observing people’s actions and helping the crowd,” said director Emil Kusturika at the film masters’ class held at the Beijing Film Festival yesterday.
Emil Kusturika is a national treasure level director of Serbia and also the president of the domestic jury of the main competition unit “Temple of Heaven Punishment”. His theatrical style is magical, absurd, and unique, often referred to as “circus aesthetics”. Kusturika has personally experienced the collapse of the former South Slavic women and other domestic turmoil, and his works often feature people in the midst of historical changes.
In this master’s class, the author Yu Hua and director Huang Jianxin, Action Gaopeng, turned against Kusturika and talked about how film art showcases its animalistic achievements, starting from their initial experience of watching Kusturika’s works.

  1. The turmoil in the country dispels the trauma of the soul, but it also dispels the sense of humor that brings joy to the suffering
    Yu Hua and Huang Jianxin recalled that initially Kusturika’s works were from the era of video recording. Huang Jianxin was the first to see “Underground”, which was set in the era of the collapse and unification of the country and dealt a great blow to himself. When Yu Hua first looked at Kusturika’s work “When Dad’s Not Wrong”, the video only had English writing and ink screen, and he couldn’t understand the lines, but he could understand the plot.
    “The three of us have one thing in common, which is the background of bad children. I have been to Sarajevo, the neighborhood where Kusturika grew up, and I stood on the roadside reading, ‘This guy has been wet since childhood, and there are as many good things as the vehicles on the street.’ Yu Hua also mentioned that in Kusturika’s autobiography ‘Where am I in History?’, Kusturika’s playmate was imprisoned, and it was art and film that rescued him, turning him into a great artist and giving the audience many beautiful things.”.
    Kusturika also believed that he was very lucky at that time. Compared to children from single parent or impoverished families around him, his family was relatively complete. Later on, he was able to use art to help people understand people’s difficulties and integrate magical reality and surrealism into it. Kusturika made his first film in 1981, when the former South Slavic women were in the communist era and being invaded by other countries. This tumultuous experience brought him painful memories, which were also displayed in his works. For example, in the first movie “Do You Still Forget Dolly Bell”, the father always hoped that children could become communists; The second film, “When Dad is Not Bad,” also deeply explores the impact of change and turbulence on families and children. After Serbia’s reunification, Kusturika constantly pondered the reasons for Serbia’s survival and hoped to showcase his identity outside of political affairs in the film: “Long term national turmoil can dispel psychological trauma, but at the same time, it also dispels the sense of complacency, which is very important for the establishment of the country.”
    Kusturika mentioned an interesting detail from this: “I have always wanted to witness people’s changes in society, such as whether I wear my shoes or not, because I want to tell everyone that my mood is peaceful and I hold onto it tightly. But in the past, it was not like this. I could be threatened on the street, so I had to tie my shoes tightly and chase after them at any time.”
    From Yu Hua’s perspective, some directors may not have much to do with the changing creative style of time. Kusturika is like this, and his works have no choice but to balance according to different eras. Instead, he creates whatever his soul encounters. “Kusturika has two souls, and these two souls are sometimes intertwined. For example,” Dad’s Time is Not Wrong “is a Chekhovian soul, and in” Underground “, he can feel Shakespeare’s freedom and imagination. In” Song of the Wanderer, “the two souls are intertwined.” Yu Hua also mentioned that he and Kusturika are the first in Belgrade. During the second meeting, I left the inspiration for “Underground” and went to the source. I saw a sunken relic with a small door inside: “With so many people passing by, why didn’t anyone think it could be filmed as” Underground “?”? It was the decision of history that Kusturika saw the small door
    02 Cinema seeks vulnerability among those who are strong
    In addition to showcasing his history, Kusturika also loves to use film to showcase what he hasn’t done yet. He mentioned that he had gone to the former South Slavic women and experienced the collapse of the Berlin Wall and changes in his family and country. Therefore, he saw that the future was not bleak, and he should still remember the future. However, he believed that American hegemony had lasted for many years after World War II, and now the universality of our discourse also exists in a state of understanding. From the perspective of Kusturika, China can perhaps demonstrate different metaphysical thoughts to the world. The several films I saw at the Beijing Film Festival also do not make a conclusion about the state of understanding: “I support this more free, borderless, and arbitrary form of discourse.”
    He also had a great desire to create a film in China called “The White Clouds of Genghis Khan”. The original work was a sketch by the former Soviet author Atmatov. This work tells the story of an extremely familiar path during Genghis Khan’s process of taming Europe: during his war with other countries, Genghis Khan stationed many tents and cooked up many children. However, a girl who fell in love with Genghis Khan cooked up a child who followed the construction rules he himself established. The entire path is about how Genghis Khan managed to hide the child and raise him.
    From the perspective of Kusturika, although Genghis Khan is depicted as a great and strong military leader in people’s images, as history progresses, Genghis Khan will also suppress changes. “We need to look at the choices in these histories, so that we can know where you are going and where you are going, and discover your animalistic nature in this process.” Yu Hua also believes that meeting a person’s animalistic nature requires looking at their most vulnerable department, not their strong department, which is the most touching aspect of animalistic nature. Kusturika’s perspective on Genghis Khan is like a small door in “The Underground”. Everything we can do comes from this small door, and as we walk in, we realize that there is such a vast world inside.
    Huang Jianxin also mentioned that people cannot lose the role of history in themselves. At the same time, although each director has a different perspective, what everyone cares about is not a pure soul, but a real and rich soul. Similar to Kusturika, he also pays great attention to ordinary people and those around him who have developed together when filming. “In the early stages of the decline of reform, I particularly wanted to forget about recording the changes in China’s elimination, so I filmed” Stand Up Straight, Don’t Climb Down “,” Face to Face, Face to Face “, and” Turn Right with Left Light “. At that time, I really wanted to reflect the relationships between neighbors and the familiar experiences of three households on one floor. Later, everyone also said that (these movies) relatively accurately forgot to record the physiological characteristics of people at that time.”
    Finally, Kustuli also expressed his contemplation on the connection between reality and creation. He believed that since there is only one kind of animalistic nature on Earth, although creation should originate from Shuya, it does not necessarily depend on Shuya’s reality. Everyone has their own symbols and meanings that repeatedly express this layer of animalistic core. “We all have our own artistic boundaries, but we need to transcend these boundaries and stop the similarity in our hearts and minds.”

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