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Jelena Rajković

A portrait of the recently deceased young filmmaker Jelena Rajković. The main text is supplemented by the list of her complete works on film, and an interview with her close collaborator and friend S. G. Pristaš about the two posthumous postproductions of Jelena’s films.

Jelena Rajković did not see the final print of her documentary Krapina, Afternoon (Krapina, poslijepodne) — the postproduction was finished the very day she died (of cancer). Her last work, Zagorje, Manor-House (Zagorje, dvorci), was edited and postproduced posthumously by S. G. Pristaš. Krapina, Afternoon (1997) has an intriguing relationship with her earlier medium feature Night for Listening (1995). The fictional content of the feature film was a breaking of a young disappointed veteran in a radio station with a bomb. He requested to air his complaints about the media treatment of a battleground event he took part in (he was proclaimed dead along with his dead comrades, and the whole event was hushed up).

The documentary Krapina, Afternoon was about the similar event, about a breaking in the small radio station of Radio Krapina by a veteran who felt completely neglected and pushed aside by the society he fought for. Fiction preceded faction, faction not knowing earlier fiction (the real veteran in Krapina did not know about the Rajković’s fiction film that was broadcast a day before his action). Jelena Rajković learned about the event and in a discrete manner made an interview film with the involved disc jockey, policemen and social workers, and with the veteran himself. There is a complex analysis of Rajković’s humanistic approach, her style and personality traits, as well as the interpretation of particular films made by her.

In a conclusion Krelja states that Jelena approached the inverted war and postwar times with self-assuredness, bravery and conscientious professionalism. She showed pronounced inclinations towards the most vital creative approach in Croatian cinema — the intimate one, the one that discloses the burdened aspects of human hidden life. Though playful and ambitious from the point of view of directing, even at the beginning of her authorial work, one could sense in her films »a woman’s touch« — a subtle sensitivity and discrete compassion.

Petar Krelja


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