Crveni Konj (1981)

Run Time - 135 min.  |   Countries - Yugoslavia  |  
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As a background to this story, both Greek and Yugoslavian Macedonians fought in WW II against the Nazis, but after the war, Macedonians were divided between the communist Yugoslav sector, and the Greek sector that was primarily non-communist. That situation led to a 10-year civil war in Greek Macedonia between its politically divided factions, and when it was over in 1956, the communists on the Greek side of Macedonia were deported to the USSR. This story is about Boris (Bata Zivojinovic), one of the communist partisan fighters who is put on a freighter with many of his compatriots, unloaded on the eastern shore of the Black Sea and then sent by train to Tashkent. The scenes of killing before the partisans were put on the freighter, and a disturbing vision Boris experiences, do not bode well for the future. After he arrives, Boris gets into a relationship with a Russian woman who makes him happy for awhile, but not enough to overcome his homesickness, or the effect of the tragedies and loss of hope that permeate his exiled community. In the end, this is too much for him to bear, and he returns home to his mountain village in Macedonia. There he finds that the villagers -- including a grown daughter -- have unwillingly submitted to their new lives, made much worse by a gang of petty thugs who lord it over everyone, especially those who had fought on the losing side of the civil war. Boris has never lost sight of his own ideals and his backbone is a little straighter than those around him, so when the gang members continue to ridicule and goad him, a showdown seems inevitable.

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Keywords

against-all-odds, civil-war, Communism, deportation, exile, homesickness, Nazism, oppression, showdown