Since it’s hard to find something Slovenian in each corner of the Berlin Film Festival, it is correct to put the film Predictions of Fire (shown Saturday in the late afternoon), which was shot with the big support of our national TV by American Michael Benson, at the beginning of today’s report. However, not only out of sheer patriotic courtesy. Michael Benson allegedly maintained and clarified his enthusiasm about NSK for quite some years – an enthusiasm which obviously extended to Slovenia in general – but now we can say it was worth it. Before an international audience this is even more clear than at home. The hall was full (the film was shown within the Panorama documentary program). After the 95-minute length of this information-saturated documentary, more than half an hour of questions came raining down. The young director answered them with a self-confidence and a congenial patience. The questions were similar to those raised at Laibach’s first appearance ten years ago (of course Berlin, which wanted to be the capital of the world’s Third Reich, has a rich experience with Nazism). The interest in the film undoubtedly shows the big international reputation of our avant-gardists – or at least their familiarity to the audience. However, it is more important that Benson also showed, along with the phenomenon of NSK, their ideological and historical background. It means that he gave a short, and filmically quite effective, course in 20th Century Slovenian history. It is my conviction that many in the hall “really,” for the first time, saw and heard Ljubljana – realizing, for the first time, that Slovenia as a matter of fact is not Yugoslavia, and learning, for the first time, that something exists between Austria and Italy which they would never have ordinarily thought about. And lastly: to watch, in the middle of Berlin, Peter Mlakar in that hunter’s uniform shouting precisely those words which caressed Serbian ears the most at that time in history, and in the middle of Belgrade no less – this was also something!
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