The Real, The False, The Caught
Recalling John Flaherty’s testimony about the creation of the famous documentary Nanook from the North, in which Flaherty freely ’manipulated’ Nanook and his ’catch’, Croatian director Hrvoje Hribar contemplates on the nature and purpose of documentary. He talks about his experiences and reflections applied in the filming of his film There was once... (Bil jedon) about the exploits of fishermen from the island of Vis. Story about a man who sailed out as Don Quixote and sailed in as king happened rather recently, so that the adventure was re-enacted with most of the original protagonists. Since the plot of the film involved fishing for moody fish, great parts of film turned out to be excitingly realistic. Other scenes were strictly acted as in some low budget neo-realist movie. The author was able to feel how it is to decide freely on the questions of production, direction and narration alike. He felt released from the bonds of traditional cinema, its stale faces and prejudices, he broke off from the system and inhaled life in all its uniqueness: an experience of film equalled to love affair.