Ukraine, a remake of Yougoslavia - interview for French newspaper l'Humanité, 5February 2015

To meet the Franco-Serb filmmaker is the assurance of an up-to-date interview, the questions of international geopolitics and the misdeeds of capitalist globalization. Emir Kusturica, author of a collection of short stories published on January 7, “Stranger in the marriage,” is never stingy with bright digressions.

Emir Kusturica usually uses his artistic fiber in music and cinema: the guitarist of the No Smoking Orchestra is also the winner of two gold awards for When father was away on business and Underground. The Franco-Serb filmmaker had already tried literature in an autobiography, “Where am I in this story? ”. He is now attempting a foray into fiction with “Stranger in Marriage,” a collection of six short stories about family, war, and the absurdity of everyday life in Yugoslavia in the 1970s. A little bit uneven, the truculence of Kusturica, yet very cinematographic, hardly provoke the same emotions as on the screen. Still, if he does not quite succeed in writing, he remains a singular voice essential to the mind formatting.

  • Why did you choose to express yourself through literature?
    • Emir Kusturica : I understood that I could be creative by making my film “Guernica” during my studies at the Prague Film School. Since then, my creativity has never stopped. I was lucky to find myself. I can put my life in touch with my different projects. Since my first films, I have a good relationship with the public. It's probably because I was not trying to communicate but to make my films. I explore deeply my family history. I try to go to darkness. But it's first of all a desire. Art is certainly the culmination of a communication but the artist does not communicate with the public but with his own need to create.
  • Why are your stories so personal?
    • EK : I'm very close to the cinematographic language of the early 1970s. These are golden years for cinema and art in general. The United States, which shapes the world militarily and artistically, was much freer in the 1970s than it is today. After Vietnam, there have been many movies about the lost war of Americans. Since then, free expression has become a controlled expression. Today, the NSA (National Security Agency - NDLR) listens to all US citizens. It's frightening. In the 1970s, America was talking about fascism, Nazism. Remember “Cabaret”, Bob Fosse's film, “Macadam Cowboy”, “Five Easy Pieces”. There was almost an existentialist philosophy, freely speaking about life, defeat in Vietnam, writing books. And then patatras, at the cinema, George Lucas began to recreate the universe, Spielberg made his “ET”. Ronald Reagan's concept of entertaining the mind, especially Americans to move them away from a critical position, and transforming movies into pure entertainment has prevailed. People who continued to do what they wanted were marginalized, their films poorly distributed. Today, we are still suffering the consequences. In Europe, the cinema is more turned towards the author cinema. But the economic pressure makes the authors more and more politically correct.
  • What do the events in Ukraine inspire you?
    • EK : The humanitarian war is in fact a legalization of the war. Wall Street depends on the war. The psychological value of an action depends on how aggressive you are in certain parts of the world. Several wars, small in size, are taking place all around the planet. From now on, the option of low intensity conflicts appears exhausted. And Ukraine marks a turning point. Russia no longer accepts its encirclement with the continued enlargement of NATO. The American ideologist Zbigniew Brzezinski has written extensively on the “Eurasian stakes” which he considers to be the mastery and colonization of Russia and the former Soviet Union. Ukraine is therefore a first step towards this dismantling devised by Brzezinski.
  • Doesn't it remind you what happened in the former Yugoslavia?
    • EK : In Kiev, the story of the snipers who opened fire on Maidan Square is disturbingly similar to the events in Sarajevo in 1992. During the siege of the city, snipers terrorized the inhabitants and no one in Sarajevo knew where did these snipers come from? Exactly like in Kiev. We still do not know who opened fire on the demonstrators and the police. Today, another truth than that imposed by the media appears. That's what my film “Underground” was trying to describe: another reality. It was made in 1995. The truth about these two events, the leaders know it. They are even stakeholders and try to abuse us by pretending to be fools. The big powers play on a chessboard where Ukraine and the former Yugoslavia appear as pawns. This is a repetition of a scenario that occurred in Yugoslavia and led to its break-up for similar issues: the extension of NATO and the EU. The construction of the EU is responsible for both dramas. In order to expand and increase its influence, it divides states to impose its law on small territories. For me, what is unacceptable is that people are comfortable with it. Fortunately, there are moments of hope. The arrival of Communists in Greece is one of them. Their victory is historic and can, as in Latin America, bring real momentum. This phenomenon will be repeated in the years to come. The rise of the far right and fascist parties, even Nazis as in Ukraine where they are in power, will create resistance. The clash is inevitable.
  • The hysteria of the press against Russia and Putin reminds you of the media treatment of Serbs during the war in Yugoslavia?
    • EK : That was the starting point. In 1992, the various actors put forward certain aspects to create an atmosphere favoring a conflict. They then legalized an intervention in the name of humanitarian aid. Any possibility of peace was discarded and Yugoslavia was dismembered as it pleased, leaving Slobodan Milosevic solely responsible. Kosovo is a fine example of their lies and their random justice. They supported the separation of this region in the name of the right of peoples but refuse it to the Crimea! The United States and the Atlantist camp impose their truth because they behave like winners of the cold war. They believe they have triumphed over Marxism and killed Communism. All the events following the fall of the Berlin Wall reveal the false promises made to Mikhail Gorbachev on the non-extension of NATO. This sums up their conception of diplomacy to ensure their supremacy. The extension of the Euro-Atlantic orbit is imperative. The coming century for the United States will be a turning point. The increase of their wealth and influence depends on their domination of the liberal model. This model they imposed on the rest of the planet through globalization is based on competition, exploitation and inequality. This competition, the United States will not be able to win it indefinitely with the rise of emerging powers. In this phase of decline, they cheat. But they had not foreseen that Eurasia would stand against the domination of Euro-Atlantism. Geographic proximity matters and Russia and China will eventually cooperate.
  • You criticize capitalism a lot, then why have you participated in a party in Davos?
    • EK : I was in Davos for a Russian bank. I needed money to pay the musicians of my Kunstendorf festival. I was given a lot of money, with which I was able to finance this festival.

Source :

en/itv_15-02_humanite.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/11 15:17 by matthieu1