THE CYCLISTS


Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 


Biciklisti

Yugoslavia

Shown in 1970

CREDITS

dir
Purisa Dordevic
scr
Purisa Dordevic
cam
Jovan Jovanovic
cast
Milena Dravic, Ljubisa Samardic, Miodrag Petrovic-Cklaja, Mija Aleksic, Bole Stosic, Rade Marcovic

OTHER

prod co
Dunav Film Production
source
Dunav Film Production
The Cyclists

The Yugoslav director Dordevic has been intermittently creating a sort of running meditation on war that does not exclude its involvement with human comedy and the opportunity to comment upon mankind in general. The Cyclists combines comedy, satire and tragicomic overtones in its description of the effects of war on a small town. The characters are introduced in an almost Graustarkian, operetta-ish sort of fashion, as they ride about on bicycles, or sit at the cafe, singing jovial songs all the while. However, the war arrives and the cafe soon flies the swastika; its customers either go underground or collaborate. The town swings back and forth between its sympathies for the invaders or the partisans, and finally, the outcome is more surprising and thought provoking than one might expect. There is something of the pessimism about war-time behavior one found in M.A.S.H., but there is not the same brashness; Dordevic wants us to look at his microcosm of war’s destruction of beauty, hoping that we shall understand man’s durability, heroism and, ultimately, his duplicity. Some may notice the tribute to the Czech director, Jiri Menzel, for this is the name given to the Czech acrobat who is a character in this film (remember Capricious Summer?). At any rate, The Cyclists is one of the most exciting new films from Yugoslavia, and a prizewinner at the Pula and Bergamo Film Festivals, for writing and direction.

—Albert Johnson