23 July 2009

Goodbye, Bato

Young Velimir Bata Živojinović and Boris Dvornik, each a legendary Yugoslavian actor in his own right, the former a Serb and the latter a Croat, in the partisan film Sutjeska (1973). Before the war broke up Yugoslavia, Živojinović and Dvornik were best friends. In 1991, however, Boris Dvornik broke all ties with Velimir Bata Živojinović with a statement read to the public.
"... Remember Brioni, Bato, and the late Tito. More than any of us actors, you were his guest... Nobody of us knew him as well as you, and I believe that he loved none of us actors as much as you. And now, suddenly, you blame him for the suffering of Serbs. You shouted and demanded in public that his photograph be taken off the walls of the Serbian assembly. Bato, others could do that, but you not. Maybe all the others. But you not. By acting in this way, you are spitting into your own face. And you shout at this same assembly that all Croats should be killed. Do you, Bato, not understand that this is no longer shooting a movie? These are no fakes, Bato, here they shoot with real ammunition...
For thirty years, your telephone number has been written in my address book. Who should I now call after thirty years on this number? I understand now that during all these thirty years I was your friend for real, but you were my friend only on screen.
We have destroyed bridges, Bato, railways, raised barricades, killed many enemies, but all this was only a movie. We shot that to warn the generations that something like that should never be repeated again. And what is this now? You chose the side of the shadow and blood, where the real killing is taking place. I used to know this person who unfortunately for me does not exist any longer. I would love it, Bato, if you realize that this is no longer a movie but reality, in which unfortunately the shooting of bullets takes place.
Goodbye, Bato."

No comments:

Post a Comment