Innocence Unprotected

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Year Released: 1968
Rating: 2.5

Crafty Makavejev takes the first film feature film (which is quite lousy) shot made in Yugoslavia - starring strongman and acrobat Dragoljub Aleksic - and breaks it apart, adding in newsreel footage, documentary footage and interviews to make a kind of essay on life and culture in the country during the German Occupation during World War II. In typical Makavejev fashion, however, the end product is eccentric and inventive but a bit scattered, and not all the bits seem to logically flow together, though anyone familiar with the director's aesthetic should already be aware of his methods. There's a kind of carnival freak-show aspect to this, too, as the picture devotes a good deal of time to Aleksic's stunts and feats of strength, like bending steel with his teeth: a tongue-in-cheek parody of the Übermensch perhaps?