About Želimir Žilnik Shorts Program

Spanning a decade, including the filmmaker’s brief emigration from Yugoslavia to Germany in the 1970s, the short films in this program showcase Želimir Žilnik’s commitment to examining the category of work in its multifaceted forms. Stark yet sympathetic, the films shed light on unseen and overlooked labor, on unemployed and unhoused populations, and on the plight of immigrants and guest workers.

Filmmaker Želimir Žilnik is scheduled to be present to introduce this screening.

The Unemployed/Nezaposleni ljudi [13 min | 1968 | Not Rated | Serbian with English subtitles]: Unable to find work in Yugoslavia, an intergenerational group of men criticize the government’s failure to guarantee basic social services (housing, employment, health care, a living wage) and ultimately seek employment in Germany as migrant laborers or “guest workers.”

Black Film/Crni film [14 min | 1971 | Not Rated | Serbian  with English subtitles]: Žilnik invites six homeless men to sleep in his apartment. While the men relax in his home, the filmmaker goes into the city, asking passersby how to fix the problem of homelessness in Novi Sad.

Inventory/Inventur - Metzstrasse 11 [9 min | 1975 | Not Rated | Italian, German, Serbo-Croatian, and Turkish with English subtitles]: Along a staircase in an old Munich apartment building, tenants—mostly guest workers and their families—describe the  ups and downs of life abroad as well as their hopes and plans for the future.

House Orders/Hausordnung [12 min | 1975 | Not Rated | German with English subtitles]: Guest workers in Germany speak out against the building managers and superintendents who impose strict restrictions on tenants and take advantage of the workers’ precarious situation.

Market People [30 min | 1977 | Not Rated | Serbian with English subtitles]: A glimpse into the labor that makes leisure possible. This short film depicts the merchants, builders, tricksters, and performers who organize and operate one of the largest carnivals in Yugoslavia.

Any film screened at IU Cinema may contain content that viewers find sensitive or upsetting. Visit our Audience Advisories page to learn more.

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