News 08 Mar 17

Serbian Anti-War Film Director Commemorated

Lazar Stojanovic, who died at the weekend, was commemorated as a politically-committed film-maker, journalist and author who was jailed under communism and opposed the wars of the 1990s.

Vanja Djuric
BIRN
Novi Sad
The commemoration event in Begrade on Tuesday. Photo: Beta.

A commemoration of the life of Lazar Stojanovic, who was critical of the Yugoslav communist regime and campaigned against the wars of the 1990s, was held at the Centre for Cultural Decontamination in Belgrade on Tuesday.

Stojanovic, who died on Saturday in Belgrade at the age of 73, was also a founder of the liberal independent weekly news magazine Vreme and made documentaries about Bosnian Serb military and political leaders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic

“He was someone ready to sacrifice everything for his version of truth,” Serbian film director Slobodan Sijan said at the commemoration, which was attended by friends and relatives, Beta news agency reported.

Stojanovic became famous after his movie ‘Plastic Jesus’ (1971) was banned for its criticism of totalitarianism and the director was sentenced to three years in prison. It was eventually released in the 1990s.

His book ‘Biće bolje’, ‘It Will Be Better’, which was compiled from material he wrote as a young man for the magazine Student, was also banned.

Stojanovic remained true to his left-wing ideals until the end of his life, said his friend Milivoje Majstorovic.

“He didn’t get the chance to make another [feature] film, and that will remain a stain on society and on culture,” said Majstorovic.

In recent years, Stojanovic contributed to the media campaign in support of the Coalition for RECOM, an initiative campaigning for the formation of a regional fact-finding commission into the Yugoslav wars.

“People who fight for human rights are not politicians. They don’t want people to love them,” Stojanovic said in an interview with Vreme last year, the Associated Press reported.

“You dig out things people want to hide and they will hate you for it... They will call you a traitor, but that is something one must endure,” he said.

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