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Serbian director Srdjan Dragojevic's surreal, comic drama about Belgrade's embattled LGBT parades is drawing laughs from audiences - but some gay activists question what it's really saying.
A long-awaited film taking a wry look at Belgrade's bitterly controversial gay pride parades has finally hit cinemas in Serbia.
The premiere had initially been scheduled for October 2, the day of the planned Belgrade 2011 pride march.
The parade was cancelled for security reasons after far-right groups threatened to unleash havoc on the streets.
The film centres on a group of LGBT activists who have been refused police protection for their planned pride march in Belgrade.
Thus far the script follows the real-life experience of Belgrade's embattled gay community. Where it diverges is when the group then decides to hire some war criminals to protect them at the parade instead.
Srdjan Dragojevic, director and screenwriter, started working on the script in 2004, shooting parts of the movie at last year's pride march in Belgrade.
"For me this is quite a realistic film," Dragojevic told the media.
As in his previous movies, which include "Lepa Sela Lepo Gore" ["Pretty Villages Burn Brightly] set in the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, Dragojevic has made what is essentially a tragicomedy, with stereotypical characters including a corrupt cop and a one-dimensional skinhead.
This humurous angle has ensured the movie a mixed response on various Serbian forums. Many people find it funny but some LGBT activists question its values and whether it is remotely realistic.
"Would people who have definitely committed such crimes defend a minority like the LGBT population? That is an issue for me," Boban Stojanovic of the gay lobby group Queeria asked, referring to the script.
The issue of homophobic violence is an ongoing one in Serbia. In the latest episode, on October 19, a young man stabbed and wounded a 26-year-old woman wearing an LBGT T-shirt in the centre of Belgrade.
Two weeks before that, the country's National Security Council banned this year's planned pride march citing concerns of violent clashes.
A parade did go ahead in Belgrade in 2010, the first to be held since 2001, but it ended in mayhem as stone-throwing anti-gay youths clashed with police.
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