11 September 2009

Kapetan Lesi

Kapetan Leši (transl. Captain Leshi), a Serbian film - the first partizan western - directed by Živorad Žika Mitrović (1960) about successful exploits of Ramiz Leši, a heroic Albanian-Shiptar partisan, in driving balisti forces (a local fascist organisation) out of Kosovo Metohija.
You will not find much that is Albanian in this film - apart from the little white caps and the melody of the song. I remember seeing excellent Yugoslav actors of Albanian origin on stage and on the screen - notably, the excellent Bekim Fehmiu. I would, however, be hard pressed to find Yugoslav films (other than this one and its sequel) that is both set in Kosovo and focused on the lives of Yugoslavian Albanians. Even if they are acted by Serbian rather than Albanian actors; even if they speak Serbian rather than Albanian.
In that as well, an imitation of westerns where Indians were acted by Americans of European origin and spoke English even among eachother.
Departing from the national epic portrayal of partisans, this action adventure film was an absolute hit with the Yugoslavian audiences.

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